Note to Self


Inspired by “Notebook Fragments” by Ocean Vuong

Older boys will kill you, mother said. I believed her.

Today I met an older boy. I’m terrified of the man I love, even though he’s the only one who believes me.

Close the door, daddy said. Turn off the lights, daddy said. You’re wasting electricity, daddy said. You’re wasting money, wasting water, wasting space, daddy said.

Listen to your dad, mommy said. You know you’re his jewel, his princess, right? Mommy said.

Note to self: The people who are killing you are also caring for you.

When angered, children scream and throw things around, listening to nothing, hearing no one, believing nothing, only calmed when left alone.

Father is innocent, mother says. I think he’s never grown up.

When dad gets mad, bullet words are only deflected with agreement. Flowers grow from my wounds, the seeds I plant feeding off my pain. Maybe love is what kills.

I met an older boy, maybe I shouldn’t, but he was like me, but older, therefore stronger, therefore able to hold me off the ground.

Note to self: Don’t find homes in people. They’re not your property.

I think I love my parents very much. Sometimes I love them so much, I cry myself to sleep.

Father’s funeral will be like a kid’s birthday party. Half-assed.

He promised we’d run away. I want to go with him. And I will.

Note to self: Its kind of fucked up if you’re thinking of this at 17. But it’s kind of fucked up when their words are metaphors for bullets.

Spent years believing I’m crazy, unlovable, weak. Mother still refused to apologise. I still regret listening to her.

I think my parents love me very much. They love me so much they’re trying to buy me.

4am. Could have stayed over and had a good night’s sleep. Father wouldn’t let me, drove home angry, I wondered why everyone else’s parents trusted them.

Told PJ about my parents. She’s horrified. I don’t understand why.

Mother said “I love you” and tucked me into bed. I cried myself to sleep. Mother didn’t ask why my eyes were red. Mother didn’t care when I screamed in pain.

If I bled out, will they be the ones to call an ambulance?

Probably, but I still needed to ask.

I think my parents need me. They’re the ones who keep me caged.

One day dad will realise I’m no longer a child. That day will kill him. One day they’ll realise I’m strong enough to be by myself. That day they’ll realise I’m gone.

Mother bought me clothes today. I hate them. They’re too small.

I think I forget I’m 17. Living alone does that.

Older boys will kill you, mother said. I believed her. Like I once believed in the tooth fairy, offering parts of myself to a stranger who needed me, and tried to pay me.

Older boys will kill you, mother said.

He killed the part of me that still loved them, even while was breaking me. So I guess, maybe, mommy was right.

I think I love my parents very much. I’m trying not to.

I know there’s no such thing as forever, but even when flowers fade and wilt, their ashes remain. Maybe love is a flower.

The semicolon tattoo thing is so cliché by now. I’m going to get one when I move out.

I met an older boy. Maybe I shouldn’t have, but teenage rebellion is the default response when I don’t listen, so why care about the response?

I know there is no such thing as forever, but maybe things are carefully arranged to look like they do. This too will end. Remember that.

I’m going to lose it if he proposes. Not because I’d be happy, but because I don’t believe in marriage. But also because I’m stoked.

Les Miserablès is everyone’s pretentious favourite musical, but still a masterpiece no less.

Note to self: Singing show tunes is one fast way to royally annoy your classmates.

I think I love my mom very much. End quote.

Note to self: Its possible that they still don’t know what they’re doing, even after 17 years. I shouldn’t feel like it’s my fault.

Mom made me soup last night. I suddenly feel guilty for wanting to leave.

I still think poetry is just pretty words. That said, I think I love pretty things very much. Maybe love isn’t poetry.

They wanted me to be strong. When I yelled in pain no one came running to see what was wrong. The blood was simply filth on the floor.

Everything is possibly because of lack of sleep. Sickness, lack of sleep. Depression, lack of sleep. Flesh wound, lack of sleep. Mom said so, so it must be true.

Be careful of boys who hate your parents with you. They could be drawing you out, away from what you already know.

Be careful of parents who don’t keep a firm grip on you until you begin to slide out from their fingers. They won’t be there to catch you when you fall.

The game shop is called Grey Ogre Games, not Grey Orgy Games.

You look good. Period.

I think I love my mother very much. So much so I wish she would just leave him already. I wonder if she is afraid.

She says that she stayed because he needs her, but what about her? Who’s there for her? Who takes up the space I will leave when I exit this family?

I think my family’s broken. But no one’s willing to admit it. Except me. Good or bad?

I don’t think Mom means it when she says she doesn’t approve of me staying out late. Otherwise, stalling for time wouldn’t work.

Mom said older boys will kill me. This is the first time I’ve ever heard her disapproval.

I wonder why he thinks he needs to tell me I’ve got it easier when I clearly don’t. Drowning, therefore, isn’t a valid reason to come up for air.

The brokeness, I think, is why I’m alive.

Lewis Carroll was my childhood idol.

I think my mother loves me very much. Endquote.

I wonder if it was a mistake to still love my parents.

My friends care about me, I think.

(Are we friends? Are we there yet?)

There’s insecurity in those eyes, recognise it before you try to help.

You are becoming everything they said you will be, it’s up to you to listen.

The doubters have a point sometimes. Or do they?

She’s not a bad person or a bad friend, just be on your guard, constantly, all the time. Don’t let them see you cry.

He fell asleep immediately after we fucked. Typical. Watch him breathe, like every breath he takes is his last.

Make all the small dick jokes you want, just know it’s not true when it comes to him. Hell, it might end up being the most laughable lie you have ever tried to tell.

Handjob jokes, blowjob jokes, no job jokes. They’re all hilarious. They’re all also true.

Older boys will kill you, mother said. I know. But that’s all I ever wanted.

Death. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.

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