BEB: I’m Going to Tell You Everything, Since You Never Ask
by samantha freedman
I’m sorry to be bitter but I can’t shake the taste off my tongue that the sweetness I once saw in you is artificial, unhealthy—my mom warned me to stay away from this. I guess I never paid attention when she told me that everything is better in moderation, because why else would I expect that after all this time, your tastebuds wouldn’t grow tired of me.
My hands shake and my breathing is uneven, choppy waves crashing against my throat as I bury my head in my pillow. I can feel your presence like a current pulling me out to sea, the ocean I once loved so much is now my worst panic attack this year. I cannot outrun my heart it is racing so hard. I wish I could get myself together.
The winter cold does not bother me today, my blood is boiling so hot. I scream Coward into the air and hope the frigid wind whips it against your face, it’s one of those Don’t Look At Me days, I Hope You’re As Unhappy As I Am weeks, resentment blankets everything in my wake like frost.
I am fragile, and I hate myself for it. I hate how the tears that I swallow burn the back of my throat, how my head spins in circles around you and taunts me like a broken record: nothing, nothing, nothing, nothing. I fall asleep to this soundtrack, to the reel of every single moment since I met you—I pause in pain every time I realize I went wrong. Stupid, stupid, stupid girl. It was my fault.
Sunlight streaks across my face, cupping my cheeks and planting kisses on my forehead like you once used to do. But these hands are divine, they show me only Love, and you are not a God but a human who also makes mistakes. I bathe in this warmth, and forgiveness washes over me like holy water.
I come to terms with myself in the bathtub today. The longer I soak, the fainter your fingerprints become, and as I slide slowly underwater, I promise not to come up for air until I love myself again. After this, I light candles in my bedroom, and I imagine myself drifting up towards the ceiling like the smoke that wafts out from the flickering flames. One day, I’ll be so far away from here that the remnants of my unhappiness will have turned to barren ash. Can you feel me disappearing?
Sometimes, I see us as a specimen, turn us over in my head and examine our ailment. Is this what we are, something to be eradicated? A syndrome to which the only remedy is erasure? I feel unsure of myself, inexperienced; I don’t know the right way to heal. I just wish it were true what they say about time—I think all my wounds are still open.