You are protected in my heart. I truly cannot understand why, why no matter what happens or how cold our interactions are, I can only remember the boy with hair slightly too long and a dorky grin, who would dance to make me laugh and call me beautiful when I couldn’t imagine that word ever applying to me.
I see every version of yourself you want me to. From the first time we met, something always drew me to you. Walking to class in your basketball shorts and sweatshirt, glasses on and longboard in hand. I didn’t understand how everyone could walk by you and not see you, not see how much you could symbolize for one person. You walked into the room and I couldn’t look away. When I look at you I see the first time I ever felt desirable.
When I see you I remember becoming confidant, no longer the wilting wallflower I had assumed I would always be. We moved on, but you always remained in my head, and heart. I felt our story was not done, and even with all that has happened, I don’t think it is. Is it because you were my first? One of the first boys I’d kissed, one of the first I actually liked?
Even when I moved on, so far consumed by other crushes you became a dim memory, I never truly forgot. As though when it comes to you, reason does not hold. I can count on all ten fingers and ten toes reasons to not like you, reasons to forget you but it’s so damn hard.
I feel out of my control in my feelings towards you. I can go weeks without you fogging up my brain with your memory, and then I see you and it crashes in. The frothing waves of desire, regret, and frustration come back. It’s something animal, a pit in my stomach that aches when I remember the way you pulled my hair and bit my lip, told me to get home safe, or asked me how my day was. How can someone so monumental, someone so kind, be capable of such selfishness?
It must be me. It is my choice and I control it. I am infatuated with a memory, a possibility of love that I am having trouble letting go, but I’m getting there. There are reasons we didn’t work out, and no matter how much I excuse all the times you fucked up, I know better. I know that is not how you treat someone you care about.
I go out and forget myself, and kiss boys whose names are simply numbers in my phone. Yet I will dream of you the same night, and it’s as though my progress never was. You, ha! You of all fucking people. No, I have spent time waiting for you, hoping for you to call and text one more time, and I am done.
There are scars on my heart from where boys have hurt me, but they always heal, the sting eventually fading to a dull ache that makes me stronger. But you and your scar? It will not reach the scabbing process, and is slowly driving me crazy. I’ve stitched it shut, and the thread never fails to rip away, as though the wound as fresh as it first was.
I give up. There is no way I will not care for you, find you adorable and lovable and someone I would be overjoyed to be with. I am no longer attempting to forget you, or the way you made me feel.
But the fact of the matter is I don’t want to forget. You made me happy for a time. And rather than trying to erase those feelings, I want to ingrain them, tattoo them to my soul so that I will always know I am capable of that caliber of emotion. I am not broken, I am open. Open to more emotion, more love, more memories. The memories of you no longer remind me of sadness, but give me hope for the next boy who will lead me to even more amazing memories.
The scars you left are not wounds, but a slowly healing ink that describes our story. And no matter what happens, it is a piece of art I never want to forget.