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I will not be my parents.

For every negative comment they exchange,
I will have something positive to say.
For every door that slams,
I will hold one open.

I will not let myself bring unhappiness to the table, then wonder why supper is so bitter.
The walls of your childhood home
used to hold their breath when you got upset.
I would pretend I didn't notice the holes
in the closet door and you would pretend
they didn't mirror the holes in your chest.
You never told me about your father, but
when you were drunk you'd mention your old man
and I could see all those
miles of running in your eyes.
I saw a picture in your mom's living room
of a man with the same jawline as you.
Always clenched,
always tense,
always ready to leave at a moments notice.
You said I made you softer.
I didn't know if that was a compliment
with the amount of venom you spat it out with.
You felt you were above vulnerability
but I remember
walking to your house in the rain
to shoo away your insecurites.
The door was unlocked
but you never really let me inside.
You didn't speak to me
for three days after it burned down.
When you finally did show up
at my doorstep you said
you were ready to come home.
I was ready to keep you warm in the winter
but I had forgotten
about your fists in the drywall
and the way you slammed doors
until the front window shattered.
I came face to face with God
His breath stunk with alcohol
He just kept staring at his hands
And apologizing.
Volcanoes erupted
Every time he cleared his throat.
I didn't ask
I just stared.
He never met my eye
And that's when
I knew
There are
Even He can't move.
Happy 2O15, let's get wild.
When I was little
I fell off the monkey bars
and scraped my knee
Instead of running off to the swings
I got back up there
and I held on to each rung
so tightly
I had blisters in my palms
but when I got to the end I felt breathless
and maybe that's where it started.

When I began driving
I would grasp the wheel
so tightly
as if the more pressure I applied,
the better I could steer.
I always got perfect scores
on my driving tests
but my fingers ached
when I finally had it in park.

I've been clinging
to the remnants of a friendship
that I tripped into
and I didn't try to get back up
or strive for perfection
because I liked it the way it was
and I keep smiling while you walk away
but I can't wave
Because you broke my wrist
when you pulled away
but I don't think
that's all that's
I stared at
Staring at
On the walls.

"How marvelous"
You remarked.

You really are.
Only friendship.
You made yourself clear - clear as glass - that it could never be more.
But as I too am glass, a small shard of me broke off and shattered.
And why did it ignite my spirit to be in your presence, to be enfolded in your warmth
Why, why did it set my heart aflame, burn me with such flammable, incendiary envy
To see you lust after another, to want far beyond friendship with them
Why did that melt me
I was already committed to another, no matter if it was a dry, barren whisper of once-existing love or a forest of endless rain
It was commitment
Yet in spite of this, I continued to melt
Melting, right down to my core
Where I am just sand
Vulnerable, exposed, walked-on sand that could, at any second, be picked up by the wind and taken to another pit of uncertainty
But you
You dropped the empty attempts
And you began giving me your time
You showed me the naïveté that I am, and you took my hand and led me through a dark room
It was cold, and I was afraid
And you could not tell me that "everything would be okay"
Because this was real, unfiltered life you were motioning to before me
And though it was not a fully comfortable realisation,
The cold slowly thawed, from the outsides into my core, my sand
And as I thawed, as you too made yourself more vulnerable,
I at last began to take shape
Perhaps I have a calling
Beyond this fragile shell I consistently run back to for shelter, return to when it yearns back for my unearthed body to be protected again
But I knew better,
That when you molt from your armour,
Its purpose has been used up, and it is now just an empty shell, and it is time for that shell to be discarded.
And now, in my infantile flesh,
I trust that you can be my protector until my new shell can learn to harden
I am still unsure today if it has solidified,
Because I am focused elsewhere
Focused on you
My heart's every beat feels light at the remembrance of you
My mind's every thought a whirlwind
From the dissonance of reaching for you and being tempted to go back under the comfort of my old shell, from the knowledge that these two cannot coexist
But my soul, my soul is nearing soundness at last
Because with you here, I feel that my honest identity is at last coming to life
With you here,
Your breezes blow, but I do not fear that I will be carried away
Your shore arrives, but I do not fear that I am going to wash away
Though it was you who dared grind me down to my initial state of innocent sand,
You have sculpted me, even with the uselessness that I've felt I am
Shown me my potential
And made me a flourishing seashore.
Spilling my guts while riding the bus this morning.
“pinky promise you’ll be there for my play?”

i don’t do pinky promises.

“why not?”

I don’t make promises that i can’t keep. because a broken promise is just about as bad as a broken tequila bottle shoved into the soft spot just below your ribs.


speaking of tequila, let me tell you why i don’t do pinky promises.
it was a few falls ago, three if you really want to get technical.
i’d come down to visit you on a weekend instead of staying home to study like i should’ve been.
it was eleven to eleven. 

drunk. dear gods we were drunk. we’d just stumbled out of the greasiest mexican restaurant i’d ever eaten in. 
but hey. the margaritas were cheap, and more importantly, they were the only place in the area that would serve to minors. They even included a free shot of tequila when you asked for your check, that went down with similar smoothness to the way my debit card slid through the reader and emptied my bank account a little more.

but yes. you and i were drunk. and as we strolled down fifth avenue i-


No, i mean her. not you.

“who is ‘her?’”

that’s not important. do you want me to tell the story or not?


anyways. as we strolled down sixth avenue i-

“i thought it was fifth avenue?”

Can you not?


as we strolled down whatever the **** avenue it was, i couldn’t tell my feet from the concrete because the street lamps tinged everything an odd warm shade of brownish orange.
to stop myself from falling i reached out and wrapped my arm around your shoulder. 

I can still feel the fur from your coat brushing on my cheek.
you didn’t protest, and i sure as hell wasn’t going to stop.
we were drunk. and talking. 
talking about nonsense, about school, about our grades, about boys… 
it’s funny that if we talked for long enough, without a doubt, our conversation would drift to the subject of love.

You knew that I liked you. back then i thought you just liked to torture me. 

we stopped at the burning open palm of the street light before us. 
i stopped you mid-sentence. 
‘i could love you better’.

after those five words left my lips i suddenly wasn’t very drunk anymore.

there was no turning back now,  so i had to just roll with it. 

‘you waste all of this time on these boys who do nothing but hurt you…. but i’ve loved you for years now. you and i both know that you deserve better. that i would be better. every single time you come up in conversation with my old friends or my parents they ask whether or not we’ve finally gotten together or not. what’s stopping us?’

You stared at me for a long time, saying nothing, but it didn’t take a psychic to see the indecisiveness and longing and anxiety and fear swirling inside of you like your unmentionables in your Maytag.

“I guess i don’t really have a good reason. it’s just…. awkward, you know?” 

She paused. I tried not to betray any emotion with my face. 

"I'll cut you a deal. if in two years, we aren't seeing anybody... we'll give 'us' a shot." 

Not quite the answer I was looking for, but it was better than a flat out 'No'. little did I know at the time that they were essentially the same thing. 

I stuck out my pinky finger.

'Pinky promise?'
"Pinky promise”, she replied.

We locked eyes, locked pinkies in an embrace, and seconds later the ghostly white of the pedestrian walk signal shone down on us. 

We broke our gaze and walked off into the night.

That was three years ago, and it’s probably safe to say that we won’t be taking that shot.
I don’t hold it against her. But i learned through three years of waiting not to make promises that you can’t or don’t intend to keep.

— The End —