In Lieu of Acceptance
Kiss me hard before you go. Kiss my raspberry lips before you say goodbye. Taste the wild mixture of tobacco and vodka before you walk away. For one last time, grab me by my undefined waist and tell me I’m beautiful before I let your lips touch mine.
It was a Wednesday night. I was running on twos - 2 hours of sleep, 2 packs of menthol cigarettes, 2 old-man beers. You were running on a quarter of a bottle of gin. We were physically unprepared for what was to happen next, but at the moment we felt as if we were at our best to handle emotional wreckage. You signaled that we go outside to hear each other because the crowded bar was not the most conducive location to talk; that was the beginning of the end.
You said I was crazy for thinking I was unstable. You thought I was one of the most normal people you have ever met, and that it was unfair that I should have to deal with the mess that is you. I was very sensitive, and as much as I knew that you were just trying to provide me with euphemisms of death and being over, I lied to myself and tried to avoid the ugly result of our conversation. But I couldn’t. For the rest of the night, I heard only the same thing over and over again: “We can’t be together.” Everything else was a blur, probably because I was too tired to understand, or because I didn’t want to understand. All I knew was it was done, we were done, and you made sure I got that I can’t do anything to change that.
A few sober days into the heart-breaking news and I have learned to admit defeat. I’m slowly trying to take control of my situation, just like when you decided to let me go. I’m realizing that I need not give you the things you gave me, because as far as I’m concerned the materialism is mine. The lessons I learned, the music I heard, the memories I earned – everything was mine for the taking and for that I thank you.
But I can’t deny, I still think about you. The feeling of your warm fingers on my tame skin, the sound of your dry voice that talked me out of my eating disorder, the sight of your long eyelashes that just made me more in love than I already was. I still wonder if you’ve checked out that new band in university and if you told them to write a song about how I have flowers in my hair. I’m still curious if maybe you’ve finally quit that underrated sport with manipulative players because you knew it wasn’t good for you, and I was. I’m still interested to know if you’ve changed your mind about this – about us – and if I’ll take you back, with open arms and unopened candy packs.
The lie was, I was through with it and I have accepted my fate. I’ve come to terms with the fact that chemistry and timing are similar bitches, even if they stay in different hoods. I’ve appreciated the heart-breaking, because it made me grow as a person who knows what she wants out of a teenage love affair.
The truth is, I wasn’t done loving you. I haven’t burnt a house by making fish and chips for your birthday yet, nor have I written you silly love haikus in Post-It’s for Valentine’s Day. I haven’t sung you a happy morning song for when you’re sick, I haven’t drowned you in homemade crunchy cookie dough and I sure didn’t have the time to introduce you to the entire neighbourhood. I haven’t held your hand long enough, and you close enough.