First Love

On Toxicity

“The first time you ever fall in love, you will panic.”

The first time you ever fall in love,
You will panic.
You will worry about what shoes to wear,
What jeans fit better
And whether you should sacrifice your comfort for his.

You will start to plan ahead, more than you probably should and more than you ever will.
“Should I bring a jacket?
“Maybe I should wear perfume.”
“Or maybe not?”
“Are we going to his place after this?”
“Wait, the movie ends at 8, that’s my curfew.”
“Oh my god, I is a mess.”
And eventually, you will settle down and do something that maybe you’re not quite comfortable with.
But you know he definitely is and he definitely doesn’t mind.
At all.

Maybe you’d risk triggering your dysphoria in the middle of it.
Because skirts make you feel horribly out of your skin
But he likes seeing you in them.
And maybe that’s because he never quite saw you as the gender you came out as.

You will write his name in the margins of a notebook
Between phrases and paragraphs of a poem
In your nails, your hair, your eyes
He will write his name on everything you have
He will write his name on everything you are.
Because you write your name on things that belong to you.

But his body, and everything he is,
Is blank.
Scrubbed clean.
No matter how many times you’ve written your name on it.

You’d never quite understand why.

So when he leaves you awake in bed, two hours earlier than you usually wake up,
You’d make excuses.
But not for you,
For him.

Instead of getting angry at him for ruining the order of how things have to go,
That you so meticulously planned so that you don’t have a panic attack out in the open,
You’d start to justify the very obvious lies he’s telling you about not being able to make it.

“Maybe it’s the truth.”
“He always does this.”
“I shouldn’t be mad at the reason.”
“He can’t make it, he can’t help it.”
“He can’t help it, right?”

You make all of these excuses, and very conveniently ignore
The disappointment,
The anger,
The sadness,
And the feeling of loneliness creeping up on you.
Its sharp, black claws digging into the skin of your neck
Its honeyed, sweet tongue beckoning you back into the darkness,
And you’d ignore it,
But you’d let it drag you down into the void.

You will very conveniently ignore how you feel, everything you feel, that you can feel,
Because you’re in love.
Or at least, you’d like to think you are.

And you will do this, over and over again
Endlessly, for infinity and beyond
And you’d never stop to consider why he is doing this,
Over and over again.
For infinity and beyond.

You’d never stop.
Until you learn how to say no.
Until you finally learn to think for yourself,
Until you realise, that you are a person deserving of answers
Deserving of someone who loves you enough to want to put aside everything
Just to hang out with you.

Who’d let you write your name on their body
And show it off proudly to the world that they are yours,
And make you feel proud enough
To show off their name on your skin.

You are a person deserving of someone
Who won’t shut up about you
Who’d write poems about you even though they can’t write to save their lives
Who talks about you so much their friends and family start screaming for them to shut up.

You don’t have to feel as though you need to settle.
That you need to put up with someone who obviously doesn’t want to hang,
And maybe never wanted to.
You don’t have to press on,
Leave the ink on your skin
Because you are afraid of losing your purpose
Because you are afraid of being lonely,
Because you are afraid
And you don’t even know what you are afraid of.

Because, is there a point to loving him
If he makes all the things
You are already afraid of happen.
While he’s standing right next to you.

Loving someone
Is not the same as being loved.
You can choose to leave the ink on your skin.
But you can also choose to erase the names,
Once they start to itch.

Forgive yourself.
Even if you don’t know what you feel bad for.
Maybe you’re upset at yourself for not ending it sooner.
Maybe you wish you erased the names before they gave you rashes and started to hurt.
Forgive yourself.
Even if you refuse to call him anything else other than the Boogeyman.
Even if you know that part of it was your fault.
Because it will not ever be your fault.
Forgive yourself.

You will fall in love again.
And for the second time,
You might make the same mistakes.
And that’s okay.

Because you make mistakes in love.

Because love was never meant to be perfect.

One thought on “First Love

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