You Don’t.

“You know you dug up some bad memories the other night.” It’s not a question, but I’m searching his eyes for an answer.

“I’m aware.”

I stare, then humph. Turning to walk away. “Well, at least you know.” I almost don’t hear him respond.

“I’m starting to feel bad again.” I stop.

“Bad?”

“Really bad.”

I sigh, then turn. It’ll always be about him, even when it’s my turn to ache. “Explain bad.”

“Like.. I asked about your dark past and it’s my fault. I blankly kept going after you said don’t.” He’s starting not to make sense, his eyes are shifting.

“At least you know.”

He scoffs. “Yeah, I’m the worst.”

“No one said you were the worst.”

“I gotta be.” He mutters, and just like that, he’s fallen into his usual routine. His self loathing that I’m there to lessen. To build him up as he constantly tears me apart.

So, like the good girl I am. I do it.

“You’re not, you just don’t know when to stop.” I touch my hand to his heart, playing with the loose string of the nike symbol rested above it.

“I just wanted to know you.” Guilt trip, I think I’m fed up.

“You pick and choose what you want to know, then… you push.”

“Yeah, you’re right.” Nonchalance. Im definitely fed up.

I bend my head to catch his eye, raising my voice. “You’re really gonna be nonchalant right now?”

Then, he’s frustrated. Raising his palms to the sky and letting them fall with a slap. “I’m not even being nonchalant at all! I have no type of defense, ‘cause you’re right about me! You’re totally right about me and I’m fucking mad at myself, ‘cause I put you through that again, even though you said not to. But I’m so hardheaded, I just had to know.”

He pauses, breathing deeply. Trying to calm himself. His voice breaks. I didn’t think he cared so much.

“I don’t know what you want me to say, ‘cause you. know what my problem is. Even when I so called ‘attempt’ to know you, I always fuck up. Like… I’m really trying. But you know where I fuck up at when it’s accidental. I’m vulnerable right now cause I hurt someone I love on accident, ‘cause I’m too fucking stubborn. So, no. I’m not being nonchalant. I’m agreeing ‘cause you’re right.”

And, even though his wording is choppy, I’m surprised. His mind is his most prized possession, his last piece of armor. This speech he has given, alone, has let me know more about him in this moment than in the years I’ve known him. This game he’s played for so long, he’s so used to it. He doesnt understand how to get out.

But I don’t think he wants to. Not yet, anyways.

I wrap my arms around his middle, he’s taller than me so I listen to his heartbeat. It’s wild, but I feel like this is home. He doesn’t do the same.

“Well,” I breathe, my voice is muffled by his jacket. “if you know I’m right, then learn. Learn to compromise and learn to be patient. You can’t be in control all the time. And yeah, you’ll hurt me. Probably more times than you can count because I’m a mess and I’m sensitive, but all you have to do is grow from it. I’ll always forgive you.”

Its light hearted, and I’m chuckling in the middle of it. Preparing myself for the worst. I don’t tell him that this conversation is hurting. That tears are threatening to spill over from the mental exhaustion taking a toll. I have to take care of him, he’s home.

He says my name. That he’ll try.

He doesn’t.

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