This is the boy you miss late at night. And even though you allow your mind to forget the spewing daggers of insults exchanged, you miss having your head resting in the crook of a man’s shoulder, so you forget about the fact that he’s no good for you.
You most likely found this boy as an attempt to prove to yourself that the throbbing heartache of a tumultuous breakup now resides only as a dull pain inside your body. You ask about his day, because you miss the deep vibrato of a man’s voice and watch movies you hate because you’re desperate for a connection. Soon enough though, it’s 4 in the morning and you can no longer trick your mind into thinking you’re ready for this, so you wake with a stabbing guilt in the pit of your stomach as you begin to question whether he’s simply a replacement for loneliness. And although you’re no longer alone, you can’t sleep, because theres an irritating murmur in his breaths as he slumbers and his arms strangle your waist and make you gasp for air. You stare at him and imagine he looks a little different and talks a little nicer, and attempt to deceive yourself into believing he’s genuine underneath the degrading exterior.
And, when it’s cold out as you trudge home alone, the crisp air becomes your wake up call and soon enough, the sun rises and you bask in the promise of a new day. But it isn’t as easy as you thought to make a new beginning and you just pray his words wont cut you down to a state of nothingness again, where all you can do to feel whole, is give in.
The next guy you encounter in your early 20s is probably the one you don’t deserve. He’s the one who is undeniably attractive and constantly fending off women who throw themselves at him, but, you’ve never really noticed his looks or the fact that his hugs always linger a little longer. He values your mind more than your looks and is never too proud to pick you up at 2 a.m. from that place you swore you wouldn’t go to. He’s the knight who chivalrously carried you out of a party or at least helped escort you home. He’s the only guy in your life who actually knows that your favorite flowers are lilies and how you take your coffee with two sugars and no milk. He’s the guy who sits his warm body next to yours on a couch and gazes into your tear-streamed eyes as you explain your latest heartbreak.
It’d be so easy for him to clutch your hand and press his lips to yours but instead he pulls you close until your sobs dissolve into a deep rhythm of low breaths against his chest. He’s also the one you meet when you’re too young and dumb to realize that friendships make the best relationships. So, you’ll grow up, make some mistakes and suddenly one day, it will all click, but he won’t be waiting for you anymore and you’ll have to leave the party without his help this time; his ever present footsteps that intertwined with yours now replaced with your lonely shadow.
The last guy you meet in your early 20s is the mecca of all of them. This is the guy who makes you forget the previous two and wonder how you ever existed before them. This is the guy whose name drips off your lips like warm honey and leaves you craving for days on end, his taste always burned into your subconscious. Where every touch with him is electric and you get nervous when you’re around him and notice stupid things like a new haircut or a bruise on his arm, because his body is the thing that keeps you up at night; as you outline every perfect curve in his arms and he smiles at you while you’re wrapped up in his.
And even if it’s too late at night and the rest of the town has gone to sleep, you’re happy to be awake because you get to look at something more astonishing than the stars in the foggy sky and you don’t mind that he keeps you dreaming until the sun emerges from between the trees like hot butter sliding across a biscuit.
And when he wakes, with his eyes still heavy with the grogginess of morning, you keep yours closed because you have memorized the trail of freckles down his back and the scars that create a braille message for your fingers to decipher. And he’s the one who made you believe in everything and then nothing because the beginning was so much better than the end. When you lost him, you felt your heart break a million times. Once when the radio played his favorite song, again when you drove past where you had your first date, and another time when you realized you now had no one to kiss you goodnight. He made you feel like your body stopped working and your skin was the only thing holding your bones together. And even though your bed is colder and your chest feels heavy when you hear his name, you tuck the memory of him under your pillow, because the story of him is always worth a midnight read.