You know what? I need to tell you something. I'm ****** up. Yeah. I didn't know I was still so bad. I fooled myself into thinking I had control, when, once again, I really had none. And I trusted you when you held me, and then when you pulled away it hurt, even though I knew it was coming. Hell, the whole thing happened BECAUSE I knew it was coming. The relationship, the love, the breakup, and the fallout happened in one night, and I wasn't behind the wheel anymore by the end.
But that's not what I need to tell you.
I need to tell you that even when I was in your arms, crying, I still didn't know if I wanted to be with you. I'm so used to wanting you, it's a natural setting. But I remember it distinctly (and I sort of hate how distinctly I remember that night, because the good parts hurt to know they're over and the bad parts are embarrassing as **** and bring up questions and issues I don't want to deal with, like will I ever be able to be close to someone I love without being sick with fear? And why the **** does that even happen anyhow? And why did it have to be you who saw me fall apart, again?) But... I remember thinking, "Do I want to be with her?"
I remember wondering if I loved you as much as I love her.
And it's not that I thought "No, I don't."
It's just that... I didn't know the answer. I truly did not.
I think you need to know about this girl.
She is the girl who, 3 days into knowing her, I took her face in my hands and looked her straight in the eye and said, "I am going to FALL in love with you." and she smiled.
She's the girl who kept coming back to me even though I'm crazy, and I told her all about it, and wrote her poetry far too soon, and cried in front of her, and she had a boyfriend, and she never expected me.
She's the girl who picked me flowers at 3 am from the trees by the Sociology building and couldn't keep the grin off her face when she saw me catch my breath just looking at her. We broke in, and we pushed each other down the hallways in wheeley chairs in the dark, and she kissed me on the little bridge by the lake because we couldn't keep our eyes off each other.
Everything I do that makes you squirm, because you don't want anyone to love you that much, that's the stuff that makes her grin even when she doesn't want to. Even when she thinks it's a terrible idea to be out in the middle of the night with a girl she barely knows, holding hands where somebody might see.
She is the girl I was sure would **** me over, who hasn't yet.
And that doesn't mean she won't. I know that. But...
When I met her, I told myself it wouldn't be like it was with you. I wouldn't love someone who hated all the little things I thought about them.
So I just said them.
From the moment we met, if I thought she was beautiful, I let myself whisper it to her like a prayer. I've traced her face with my fingertips. I've handed her every poem I ever wrote about her. I've woken up in the middle of the night beside her, and told her with just my eyes that I was terrified she would be gone if I closed them, and she said, "It's okay, come here." and held me until we fell asleep again. And the next day, she didn't hate my weakness for her.
She knows that if she walks away from me, I stand and watch her go until I can't see her anymore, and even then, stand a minute more just hoping I'll glimpse her again.
Every time I walk over that bridge where she kissed me, I throw a penny off and wish for her.
Every time I see a flower growing and I'm going in that direction, I pick it and I leave it there for her, because I like giving her flowers, even if she never sees them.
Every single night that I walk outside, I look up, and find the first star I see and say her name under my breath. I do it so often that I do it in my dreams without intending to.
I wear that bandanna because I wore it on Halloween, when I was a gypsy and she kissed me on the 4th floor at 4:30 in the morning, and I was brave enough to ask her if she was ******* with me, and she was brave enough to tell me she wasn't, and I was crazy enough to force her to meet my eyes and say, "I am in love with you." and she was crazy enough to smile at me and kiss me, instead of running away.
That was the night that, after she went into her room, I sank to my knees in the hall and cried, and I thought to myself, "Come back, I'm still here. Know I need you." and *******... the door opened, and she walked out and saw me wiping tears away and held me,
And I looked up at her like she was god and I kissed her fingertips and asked her how she knew, and she said she just did.
That's this girl.
And yeah, it's unlikely this will end well. Look at me, and my life, and my emotions, and the **** I've been through, and what a ******* disaster you and I can be if we are both stupid at the same time.
But the thing is... I'd rather be me than you. I'd rather have these experiences. It hurts, and sometimes it ***** so much I wonder what the hell is wrong with me, but loving someone the way I can is worth it. And someday, if I am brave and stupid and strong enough to keep opening my heart after people mutilate it, I will find someone who loves every single thing about me that *****. I believe that.
It might not be her. And if it's you... it's not the you you are right now. But it will be someone.
And if someday you find that you love me, and you are ready to try and give me what I need instead of giving me what you think I'm demanding and then taking it back, and I've found someone like this girl, or someone even greater than her.... Then I'm really sorry.
I'd rather be me than you. I'd rather risk everything, every ******* time, for that tiny chance that my love will work out, than spend my life being practical, and recoiling from the people who give more to me than I think I deserve.
**** deserving. **** plans. **** fear.
Even as I am consumed by it I can say that: **** fear.
That's what being brave is.
I know that people I love can have that effect on me, and here I am, trying to find them anyway.
What's anyone's excuse? Fear? **** that.
Life is so short.
I want to love someone so much that I love the stars.
That I love every flower I see growing.
That I love every lucky penny and little footbridge and time the sun reaches through the clouds.
I want to love someone so much that the happiness they give me scares me.
That I feel home. Everything else is a waste of time, time I don't have.
Somewhere somebody will take me as I am, and she might not understand fully, but she will be tolerant. She WILL understand that I am easy to misinterpret, and easy to push away, and hard to help. She'll get that whatever she gives me, she better MEAN it, FOREVER, because it is worse to give me something I need and take it away than to just leave me without anything at all. And she'll stay when we fight. And she'll stay when we don't. And she'll smile when her beauty takes my breath away, not because she necessarily agrees with me, but because she feels lucky that anyone could see her in such a beautiful way and still accept her flaws.
Someday I am going to BE happy. And it'll take work, and it'll take me getting hurt by a lot of people, and it'll take me wanting to give up and never quite being able to, but it will happen. Because I can't give up.
This girl I fell for who's not you, who I miss, who I dream about, who I hope will love me... she's a symbol. She is the knowledge that there are people out there that I can love who will want to BE loved.
And maybe this all goes to hell, who knows?
But it's different. It's new.
And I am sick to death of the old dance, of being misunderstood and pushed away and blamed because I'm always willing to apologize.
I did that to her once. I said I was sorry for being too intense.
She said she didn't want me apologizing for who I was, that I didn't need to throw myself at her feet, and I told her I'd never known anything else.
I am afraid of her, just like I'm afraid of you. But the thing is...
I need to try for this. I need to try everything I can to find someone I love who will have me. She's given me so much, just by tolerating me in a whole new way.
Because when I met her I was shocked. Every time I'd do or say something and think, "This is it. She's gonna think I'm crazy. She's gonna RUN away right now." she'd surprise me.
And every time she'd say something ominous and I'd be sure she was trying to get away from me and freak out, she'd surprise me then too, by saying things that were actually constructive, that didn't imply she wanted out, that honestly weren't hurtful because they were nothing compared to stuff I'd heard from other people I loved.
If there's a chance this could work, I am taking it.
I have the flowers she picked for me stuck in the dreamcatcher above my bed.
I have this flyer... See, one night at 3 am, she showed up at my door in her blue sports bra with her hair trying to reach its way out of a messy bun. I love her hair. It never stays where she puts it. And when I opened the door she blushed and stuttered and handed me a pink flyer and ran off down the hall before I could soak up her presence. And I closed the door grinning. It was a poetry slam flyer, and at the top she'd written, "Mikaila, do this. -TM". As if I wouldn't know who it was. As if she had been standing out there, just gonna slip it under the door and walk away, but had knocked instead last-minute. I love her handwriting. It looks like it'd be hers. I kept the flyer, long after the date for it passed. I have it, and when I miss her I sleep holding it. I'm pretty sure she actually knows I do that and still talks to me. If that's not extraordinary, I don't know what is.
The night I met her, she kept tripping over her words, apologizing, as if there was something she could say that would make me like her less, or something. I think I've spent more time looking into her eyes in the few months I've known her than I have looking into yours in two years, because you and I, our whole time together was so full of hiding, and she and I have never hidden. Hell, half of our conversations are through looks. When we met we didn't break eye contact for two hours, I swear.
When I think of her I smile like hell, and it doesn't hurt, it just feels... it feels like wondering if you made the school play you've been rehearsing an audition for all summer.
Like not knowing if the college you wanted to go to will accept you- If it doesn't happen, it'll hurt so much, oh... but if it does. If it does your world will be JOY.
And that's enough. The hope is more than the fear. It's stronger.
And maybe it'll do its damage, maybe life has a whole new torture laid out for me.
But I'm doing this.
And if I lose her, I will not lose my faith in love. I will not punish myself for it.
I will open my heart and say, "Somebody come in." and somebody will. Over and over until someday, someone will decide they like it there, and stay.
And if it's you, I will be ecstatic. Shocked, but ecstatic.
And if it's her, I will make her tea every morning and hold her hands when she has nightmares, and listen to her rambling stories, and learn the planes of her body the way I know the curve of her face because I still see it in my dreams even though I haven't seen her in 3 months.
And if it is neither of you, it will be someone.
And she will be lucky, and she will have someone to love every flaw she ever hated in herself, and she will be forgiven for every sin she never spoke, and she will be supported through every loss and every heartbreak, and she will be given wings instead of shackles. And she
Sometimes, when you love me, you say that my life will be more extraordinary than yours. And maybe you are right. But if you are right, it will only be because I am willing to do this to myself. FOR myself. I am willing to take these chances. And maybe you are too, who knows. Who am I to assume?
All I know is that I have taken chances with you, many more than you have taken with me. And that's why you have the power. And I don't mind. And I'll keep taking them. Because there are very few people on earth who I think could make me happy for the rest of my life, and you are one of them.
But you are not the only one.
And if you never want me for real, somebody will.
And that's why I'm still here. And that's why I won't ever be able to quit, no matter how bad things get. Somebody wonderful is waiting for me. You, or her, or somebody else.
This is more of a letter than a poem, but... I can't send it yet.