i decided today that i will do a lot of confessing this year because the things i will not admit are the most important, and i realized i have no reason to lie anymore. when she said she thought i always shared my opinion, i laughed a little but decided that if they thought i could do it, i would not be the one to underestimate my strength. i discovered that vanilla smells like a slap in the face, and that i can turn the other cheek, and when the sting becomes evenly distributed, i can stand it.
i’ll admit that i have not thrown my letters to him away like i said i would, and that there are days where i find pictures of him laughing in the places where i used to be and am no longer, and my heart still aches with all the missing. it’s as close as i get to self-inflicted harm, now- the days where the looking hurts and i choose not to avert my eyes in spite of it. i tell no one, but when i sleep i still feel his lips softly but brutally bruising mine, unwelcome and yet desperately wanted, and i still curl up tight into myself, striving and failing to hide in the darkness.
i wake up with blood on my tongue the next morning, and someone new and yet so familiar washes it away before i can look into the mirror and remember the full force of it all. we don’t try to pretend that my lingering pain doesn’t affect him, or that i treated anyone the way they deserved. we find new songs to drown out the old ones when they wear our ears down with sadness. but it’s when we stand in the silence that i learn to remember how effervescent and lasting love could be.