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.

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You jaywalked into my life like it would make you something of the Bad Boy trope. I laughed at you when you said you loved me. I hugged you when you said you cared. While I waited for the light to turn green I asked you if you thought it was worth the danger, if it was worth risking your life, I remember the last thing you said to me.

“If it means meeting someone like you, if it means that you are now the one who’d remember me when you think of your past, if it means changing someone’s life, even just a little, then I think we were worth breaking one little rule.”