Monday, 11 June 2018

a letter to him


I didn’t want to love you,
I didn’t need to need you,
Not with your imperfections-
I didn’t need that pain
I didn’t need your hatred
Your moments
Your darkness
But I said yes.

You were nicer in person, which disconcerted me at first. I immediately began to think of all the wrong things you could do to me. Julia’s words echoed around my mind as you smiled me a nervous hello.

“He’s lovely, but he’s a liar”. Why did I say yes? Why didn’t I ask her what made you a liar, what you lied about?

I wasn’t hungry, I was anxious. Everything on the menu sounded bad to me. Maybe it was because I’d been the one to choose the restaurant, my usual favourite vegetarian restaurant. Maybe I was embarrassed that I’d made you come with me- what meat-eating, gym-going young man would not laugh at the concept of a meatless menu? But you looked excited to get your lasagna, genuinely. Was that a lie too? Did you lie all the time, or not even once?

Carlos brought us our food. I’d never called him that, but over the months of me drifting in for cheap student lunches with people I thought I knew and always lost, I’d read his name tag enough times to remember. He smiled at me too. My pizza was good, sure it was, but I didn’t want it. I wanted to leave so badly. I didn’t want to hear about your brother or your trophies. I didn’t want to tell you about all the gaps in my life, why I spent my time doing nothing of note. You didn’t deserve to know, but I told you.

You were so beautiful. The more I tore my gaze from my sad pizza, and caught the rims of your blue eyes, your caramel strands out of place across your forehead, the more I could see that I didn’t want to like you. I wanted you to be the worst date I’d ever have, maybe you could even be the one I could mention at house parties and take a shot to your broken name. But you tried so hard that night to make me like you.

I resisted pretty well. I refused dessert. You paid for our food and wine. You took me out into the darkness of the night and put your jacket around me because you knew that was what you were supposed to do. We walked along the dock, down the marina, right to the end. Maybe you were going to push me off then. Maybe that’s what made you a liar. But you didn’t. You took my hand. You led me down, we sat at the edge. Your legs and mine over the side, dangling above everything and nothing, the water threatening to splash but never doing so.

You told me more things about you, all the times you broke your bones and went to hospital and the times you got in trouble and what you thought of our sky. I couldn’t help it. But I wanted you to talk forever about it. I didn’t want our time to be over, though my mind told me to go.

You swept my hair behind me left ear - he’s right handed

And now he’s going to kiss me

I didn’t want you to kiss me. I didn’t want you to love me. But there you were. And there I was, chin up, eyes closed, your lips on mine. And I felt wonderful. Because you needed me, and I could help you. And you were mine for a few seconds, and I was yours.

I couldn’t help it. I leaned my head into your shoulder and didn’t worry that I was doing something wrong. You felt so good against my weight. You were strong, and I was small and you wanted me right where I wanted to be. We stayed there a while, remember?

Eventually we got up and you looked into my eyes again, and laughed a little at the side of my face, which had gone red in the shape of your collar. I didn’t mind.

You offered me a lift home, I didn’t know you drove. I thought to myself that I really shouldn’t. Maybe your lie would live in the car. How can he be a lovely liar? But I got in. And we listened to music that fit my thoughts perfectly, and you knew all the words. At one point my eyes got teary, but I couldn’t show you that.

I didn’t want to get out of the car when you pulled up outside of my house. I didn’t want to leave your warmth, and go in and tell my family everything about you. I squeezed your hand, and kissed your face whilst we held up traffic.

I think that was the first time I thought I might love you. You were sweet, bright and yet, commanding and stable. Where were your lies? I didn’t want them. I didn’t want to love a liar.

So, tell me, why did she tell me you were a liar? Did she not want me to have you, you to have me? Is that it? Because I think I love you now, and I need your truth.

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