They called me a heartbreaker
Yet I’m but a truth-teller
It doesn’t just roll off my tongue
It is born in labor and earthquakes and devastation
How much they hated me and I admit I enjoyed it
I was a tower struck by lightning
No, I was a lightning rod in a storm
It shook me to the core and into the ground
Five years since I decided to walk away from my lover, my first real lover.
The one I knew since middle school
At the locker I heard about a new boy who cried
Immediately I knew how he felt, what they were like to us
I could feel his stares in music class
Giddy and simple, like toy magnets
Cut to high school when he’d move his chair to the front of my desk and play a one-way staring contest until I got weirded out, then laughed it off
The anxious way he paced around me when I had a boyfriend, asking if my promise ring was real
In his room after graduating high school and I broke up with my boyfriend, so high I almost fell asleep
The date we went where he only ordered water and talked about how we have no money. The messages from my dorm where in five lines or less I told him easily, the things I didn’t feel like I could tell anyone.
Then he moved to Korea and video called, asked to talk to my dad. He ever called again
One day, after the worst days of my life, half conscious and enraged, I noticed it and taunted him, I didn’t mean to. He told me I’d make it that I’d be alright
Then came the remarkable recovery and discovery of us, the tension between hello and goodbye we thrived under, we wandered the streets with no home, we lived perpetually in the in-between, the liminal time between dawn or dusk between opposite time zones. The closest I felt to you was in crisis or one of the many breakups that always kept me up all night but I liked feeling like I was on your mind. But of course in your pained, devoted, unconditional love with which I responded by solving all your insecurities like a math puzzle, never to be left unsolved again. Every time we touched it felt like it was a moment too late, a year too late, a lifetime too late. Every time I reached out you couldn’t stay and I pulled away, tucking my knees in, lost in my wounds. You lost your words.
Sometimes I hate you so much. But the truth is you were the kindest most favorite person I knew, and I’ll always love you.
I’ve had a hard time for the last five years, I don’t know what you had to do with it. I was trying to win, we both were. But I stopped trying to win and started to let it go. That’s all, it’s not complicated. It’s so hard and at the same time so ironically easy.
You know how I feel, I don’t have to explain much. I wasn’t thinking anything at all, it was me. I met someone new and I didn’t even know.
I always thought there was something wrong with me, why I couldn’t leap into your life, take a leap of faith and be where I thought I belonged.
He was just a boy then so I didn’t think about it at all. I was at his house trick or treating with his sister and brother the time you flew home and had a girlfriend but you wanted to see me anyway. This is my family, and I knew the first day I met them that it altered the course of my life. So many things I’ve said just to hurt you and it got to the point where I didn’t even care if I lied. It’s strange how this would have been the worst one but the most honest thing I know how to talk about. The most truthiest truth I’ve ever found. I could easily say he had nothing to do with it. It would make a lot of sense. But how could I ever become part of another family when I was already here? It must have been decided in our souls long ago, we were betrothed. Time is like water or more like air, the element you don’t notice, yet you know that children get older over time. It seems so impossible and inevitable too.
That’s the map of my heart, the vast unexplored country
My heart was everlasting like a glacier but oh, it moved.
I think you always wanted me to write about you, about how madly I was in love with you, I guess this will have to do. this will do.
My half confession, half goodbye letter. Goodbye and good night, or good morning, wherever you are.