I used to think my worth was something I determined. That I was golden. That my skin would shine as long as I just smiled. That my eyes would sparkle for as long as I held hope. But I am nothing more than a wrapping of lead, with too many fingerprints dented into my virtue. Strip my body of these weights and find the empty vessels I have been breathing into.

I had hoped to be mine. I had hoped that this body and this mind were mine. That I was sacred in the eye of the beholder, carefully selected. But I woke up to find my value taken. To find that my body could be taken at any given price, as low as could be.

But now I wake up in the middle of the night, panting. Thinking the covers are your hands, slipping through the cracks, trespassing on every inch of my body. And I can still hear your voice saying “that this never should’ve happened” and how you were “so sorry”, as I had turned to you and told you to pack your shit and leave. Your face is still a burning image lingering on the surface of my mind as you turned to look at me one last time before I heard you walk out the door, as I held my back straight, my chin up and my eyes fixated on the wall in front of me, tears falling down my face, making puddles on my collarbones. I don’t know why you turned to me, but I looked at you, standing there in the darkness and my eyes burning with tears and a raging hatred as my memories of you slowly faded into dark smudges covered with betrayal, grief and confusion. I went to check the door, to see if you closed it correctly, so it wouldn’t swing open when the wind blew its force at it, but even more to know that you were gone and you were not coming back, ever again.

And I told myself not to cry, to keep myself together. I told myself that I was stronger than this, that I wouldn’t let you get to me. But when I entered my bedroom and I had removed the pillow you had lied upon, from my bed, out of sight, I broke down. I broke down and I cried and I let you get to me. And it all came back. Everything came back and I couldn’t look at myself without seeing a new crack, a new dent, a new spot scorched by greedy hands wanting, trying to take, what it shouldn’t have owned on an already war-torn body.

And I tried to imagine myself your ride back home, your mom surprised ’cause she thought you’d be home later than this and you making up some excuse that I had to get up early for work. And I wonder, and dear God do I hope, that you feel guilty, that you live with the same disgust as I do now. Whether you know that this wasn’t right. But I know you’re putting it in the past, making it but a mere, itchy memory. Silencing it when it comes thrumming into your thoughts. Shutting it down as it comes creeping up on you, like it still creeps up on me every quiet moment. How it takes me in its grasp as it slowly puts its hands around my neck, stealing my breath. Your hands. Stealing what’s mine. What should’ve been mine alone.

And while you turned your back to me, I broke into reality. And I tried to blame myself. I did. Hoping this was my fault. That maybe I had given you a look, came too close, given you any kind of indication I might would’ve wanted you to put your hands on me. That maybe, my pajama shorts were too short, or my tank top too low. But we both know that that’s not what happened. I don’t know why, but I thought that if somehow I had lead you on, I wouldn’t be as broken as I am now. That it was me who was in control, without knowing it, without owning it. But it was you. Taking control. Owning me, my body, and with that, my mind. Right then and there I learned that I was here to take for anyone brave or cowardly enough to try, to want to. And that reality swept me off of my feet, beat the air out of my lungs and broke me.

I will miss you. I will miss the friendship we had. I will miss your face, which I trusted, up until that very night. And sometimes I have to remind myself that this is who you are to me now, but shit, we were good. We were loyal to each other. You were my friend. And have been for a while. And damn, I trusted you. I will miss you.

And now I’ll add your name to the long list of traitors who have taken their turn before you. The sociopath; taking all he could get out of my naivety, my insecurities, while being goddamn aware that he was taking advantage of my longing to keep him close to me, sending me spiraling into a whirlwind of shame and selfhate, leaving me depressed at the eye of the hurricane. The ex; who used my feelings as a way for me to lie with him, while I was hoping I could make him mine again if I just gave him enough of me, desperately needing him. The viper; who pretended to be my friend and thought that if he just got me intoxicated enough, I would’ve let him have me, and when I resisted, he took me anyway, leaving bruises thick as tattoos on my skin, using my new found fear for him for seconds. The rat; who thought he could get me drunk, put his weight up against mine, desperately trying to convince me with compliments and even a not-so-make-believe deceleration of love, and closing the door on me when I was finally courageous enough to get up and tried to run out. The fool; who might’ve just been young enough to not realize he was wrong, that he was being harmful. I forgave him. The friend in this big strange city; blocking me to the the shop window, hoping that if he just came close enough, I’d fall for his charms the way all the girls do. I didn’t. The hunter; who, even after hearing all these stories, after me telling him how fucked up I am, knowing how all these stories added their weight to my shoulders, still decided to take his chances, fake it all, just to have his way with me, make him feel real good about himself, and throw me into the corner to crawl away in shame when he was done. Probably had some sort of competition with his friends, but had me believing he was for real.

And even though, I know, some of these were with my, naive and hopeful consent, and I still see some of these people from time to time, it doesn’t mean that their actions didn’t damage me. As little as might be. It’s still fucked up. They still fucked up, I still fucked up. And I’m still fucked up. And I tried to reason with myself, tried to take the blame, tried to see my faults. But I’m still fucked up.

So maybe you might find I’m overreacting, that things could be a lot worse, and yes, they could be and I thank God that they aren’t, but I can’t silence the thoughts in my head, growing more and more pressing as the memories turn vivid again, as I can feel it all happening again. It’s everything added up, looking back, a new deprivation making the old scars lit up again, burning with nightmares, shame and a new, worse perspective. I can’t silence my mind, fighting against me. It really is my worst enemy. And I can not fight it anymore. I tried to, but my mind’s too strong. And I don’t want to lose. But I can’t quiet those thoughts in my head. That I lost my worth. That my eyes lost their sparkles, my skin lost its softness. That my worth lost its values, my being lost its mind. And my life lost its worth. That I am worthless. That I am here to take for anyone willing only enough and I don’t care anymore. That I am not mine and mine alone. That I will never feel like I will be. That I cannot take back the control that slipped through my fingers. That I cannot escape what you have stirred in the depths of my mind. I cannot turn it off. I cannot face away. And I cannot bring my self to live. Only just enough to be alive.

So, here’s to everyone willing; I am for sale. My body, my mind, my being. It is here, not willing, but accepting to be taken by the first bidder. Not even the highest. I lost that privilege a long time ago. And I stopped caring a while ago.

I’m selling. It does have some traces of usage, and it might feel a little labored, but if you can work your way around it, I’m sure we can work out a deal.

So, are we carding or cashing?