I originally wrote this a few years ago in response to a relationship with a friend that turned sour, although it wasn’t all that sweet to begin with. It’s a little strange, but it was what I needed to say at the time and definitely helped me process what happened; the therapeutic power of writing.
You take up all the space.
You stretch elegantly, feline, filling every corner with yourself. And, like a cat, you have claws for those who cross you.
I feel them as you laugh lightly and place your hand on my thigh, exactly the way you know I hate so much. Your smile says you mean nothing by it, but in your eyes I see the challenge. Say something.
I never do.
I am a chosen one, privy to the barbed wire of your tongue as you spit venom about someone who has no idea they have invoked your wrath. I pity them, whoever they are, but I pity myself more as I hover too close to your sharp edges.
You tell me secrets that you create from thin air to bring us closer and I thank you for trusting me as though they were a sacred gift. All I really want is someone to tell my own secrets to, for they weigh heavy on my shoulders, but my life holds no interest for you and you tell me so. I bite my tongue and wait for the day when maybe you will like me enough to let me speak.
I am lucky you like me, you claim, as though you have an armoury stored away specifically to pierce my heart were I ever to fall from your good graces. I cannot think if anything I have done that you could use, but I strive to be better so you have at least a few less bullets with my name carved into them.
Were you anyone else, I would say I was weak for letting you drag your nails across my skin. But I convince myself it is for your own good, for rather you scratch me than yourself. I will bleed so you don’t have to, and never mind that I’m draining myself dry. If I can stand your poison for just a little longer then maybe your bottle will be empty, and then all it will take is to pour you full of perfume and we shall all smell sweeter.
Then one day you deploy your arsenal with military precision. Which do you want first, my head to mount above your mantelpiece, or my heart to roast on a spit? There was a time when I would have given you either.
You take up all of the space even now you’re gone. The places in me you used to occupy echo with the emptiness, the crumbling ruins of a temple I built for you.
For now I blame myself. Maybe just one more day would have changed things, one more day and you would have smiled at me just once without bared teeth.
But at least now your hand is not on my thigh, and for that I am glad.