When I was fourteen…

I was once told “How you get them, is how you lose them” and I learned that with you. We were friends long before we came lovers, so maybe that’s why I felt exempted from this. You didn’t belong to anyone and I knew it.

I almost schemed on it really. I wanted detachment. I wanted to be pleased without getting my heart broken, again. The heartbreak you knew all too well. You recognized my sadness. You saw it in yourself. You sat with me on your bed as I cried about a boy we both knew. You watched my eyes light up when he entered a room. You held me when he told me he no longer could.

I never felt an attraction to you, I felt… bonded. I felt like you were a man who didn’t see me as a woman. We could sleep in the same bed together without the idea of one anothers’ skin crossing our minds. And we did. And when the girl who was your girlfriend walked in, we were both innocently alarmed by it. And when she asked me two weeks later how I felt about you I told her that I was absolutely not attracted to you, that I could never, that you were like my brother; as I cringed, and I meant it. I did.

So when you asked me if I remembered that time you kissed me when I was 14, I was taken aback. It was something I had kept with me, something no one knew. Something I thought you’d forgotten after the parade of countless women I’d seen walk through your door.

I remember the day vividly. I remember taking the train with you for what felt like the first time. I remember you taking me to Washington Square Park. I remember the music, the performers. I remember the way you asked me how my chapstick tasted by kissing my lips. I remember your hands on my barely there teenage breasts as the sun set on the piers. I remember the binding of the braces on your rubber bands when we kissed. I remember you resting your head on me on the train, as two older girls looked at us as if we didn’t belong. I remember how protective I felt over you.

I remember you asking me to come over. I knew I wasn’t ready. So I went home, and I never spoke about it again, and neither did you.

So you have to believe me when I say, that I had myself fooled. I truly believed that I could be with you without being in love with you. I truly believed that I knew you, I had opened the package before I accepted it and I knew you. I knew you weren’t mine to keep. I knew you’d seen too much of the ocean to want to make a home out of me. But you did, and I let you.