I was 22 when I fell in love with a man on a beach in the tropics. To admit that it was love at first site would be admitting that my reality was a cliché, yet it was.
I can still feel the hot sand competing with my face that day as it flushed at the site of you. A mountain of a man. Tall and strong, contagious. Laughter that swept me up and made me lose all sense of self. If love is blind, I was deaf and mute.
You always kept your eyes covered. As if hiding behind ray-bans could hide the fact that you had no integrity.
Today, I’m 24 and your broken promises are still written on my walls.
And the couch knows my form all too well, because the bed we shared has stayed empty.
I can’t stand to lay where you laid.
I should have left when you finally showed your eyes.
When the smell of her breath was still on your lips, as you called to tell me “I love you.”
And I should have left when the pain you inflicted on me showed up in black and blue on my arms.
But I didn’t.
I regret that.
Now, everyone says you weren’t worth the trouble. That I will find someone that deserves all of this love I still have left inside of me.
And even though they are right, you weren’t worth this pain.
I don’t want that.
I don’t want a new version of you with a bag of their own tricks.
I want to love me. The me that existed before you.
The me who didn’t cry a little when she laughed, because happiness was always fleeting with you.
Me, who never doubted or wondered about my own worth. Because you always made me feel less than.
I want the me that fought back.
The one that never even tripped over a man who couldn’t handle a strong woman.
I deserve all of the love I have left inside of me.
You didn’t use me up.
Because this right now, my reality, is not a cliché.
I’ll leave that up to you.