I laugh when I think about how little I mean to you and how much I needed to mean to you when I was sixteen and clutching a bottle of Rubinoff to my chest on the floor of my bathroom afraid to drink it, afraid to taste you, back when I use to think nothing would be the same without good morning texts from you, how naive I was, I didn’t know how hard life would get and God I probably still don’t and I’m sure someday I’ll look back to the nights of eighteen when I snuck out of too many boys beds, forgot too many names, carved too many notches into my bed post just to feel something again, and I’ll wonder why I thought I had it so hard.

It’s a classic story about losing faith for a little while, losing your way, losing your mind, it’s when the sunlight stops feeling warm against your skin and lemons don’t taste sour and you pinch your skin and feel nothing and punch a wall and feel nothing, it’s when everything has gone wrong for too long and you don’t know if you should cry or scream or lay down and take it but you’re strong, my God you’re stronger than you think because you’re still here, you’re still pressing on, even if every inch of you rejects it.

I wanted him because he felt like freedom and free falling and being seated in a roller coaster with no harness and no sign to keep my arms and legs inside at all times, I wanted him because he was danger and adrenaline rushes and everything I couldn’t be on my own.

I always tell myself I’m over your bullshit, I’m done with the games, and being ignored until you’re lonely and drunk and in need of a warm body, I always convince myself that this is the last time that I’ll pretend like you care about me, but every time you decide you want to come back I let you in with open arms, I can’t seem to keep myself away from you, it’s exhausting really, being in love with someone who is so bad for you.

Honestly it hasn’t gotten any easier since you left, I’ve only gone through more bodies, more bottles of wine, more sleepless nights, but I can’t seem to replace your taste, or the smell of your cologne, and you’re still muscle memory to me, I’m so hard-wired to the way we were that I can’t seem to adjust to anyone new, none of them are you.

I know that you’ll stay angry and I’ll stay missing you because this is how it’s always been, there’s no way to drown the fire that’s settle itself in your belly like the butterflies in my stomach, trust me, I’ve tried to kill both.

When your baby sister comes to you crying because the first boy broke her heart, don’t tell her it will be okay, don’t tell her there are other fish in the sea, don’t tell her to wipe away her tears, she’s heard to all before,
It’s times like these when you need to tell her you’ve been there, you’ve held your heart in your too good hands and tried to salvage what was left of it, you’ve seen the dark places, but you’ve come back, it took a little bit of work and a lot of Ben and Jerry’s but here you are, and you’re not afraid to love anymore, and you’re not afraid to start over, but now you need just just hold her, tell her to let it out, tell her to cry as long as she needs to because you’ll be right there.

It all stopped tasting so golden and our knees were bruised and caked with dirt from kneeling down for too many boys and our lips were cracked, fists dripping with blood, we were always fighting and drinking too much boxed wine, and life at 18 stopped seeming as glamorous as it did when we were dreamy eyed little girls.

There are all of these things that you think you know about people, concrete things like the way they handle pain and how much they are willing to put into an argument before they decide it’s too much, and you spend years with them learning about all of their emotions and all of their heart until one day they prove you wrong, one day they get too hot, too worked up, and everything comes out, and everything starts crashing down, so I guess what I’m saying is people are less predictable then we try and make them out to be.

If he doesn’t respect his mother then he will never respect you. When you first notice it, leave him. If he ever raises his hand to you, get out before he has the chance to strike, don’t pretend that he does it because he loves you. You don’t break the things that you love. If he ever comes home drunk and smelling like sex, run, no amount of excuses will ever make up for the fact that he was thinking about her instead of you. Don’t settle for anyone less than you deserve. Wait for a boy who is gentle without ever being soft. Wait for a boy who’s hands can protect you and caress you and never threaten to hurt you. Wait for someone who opens doors and calls when he says he will. That’s when you know you’re safe. That’s when you know it’s okay to fall in love.