Maybe I am not made to love

Maybe I am not made to love.

I thought this as I ran my fingers through his beautiful brown hair. His eyes were shut, twitching as he dreamt of other worlds and universes that I could never see. I wish I could. I wanted to see inside his mind, to figure out why he was the way he was, and why he hated sharing that with me. He is personal, I told myself. He keeps his secrets closer than anything or anyone. Even me. My body tensed up as he shifted in his slumber, burying his face somehow deeper in my lap. I am comfortable here. Even so, my heart ached, yearning for something I didn’t know I wanted. I wanted him. I wanted to know his thoughts. I wanted to know his inner turmoil. I wanted to know every piece of him, inside and out, backwards and forwards, left and right. I just wanted him.

But he closed himself from me; it was a defense mechanism, I knew. And those kinds of things took time, a very long time, to overcome. But it hurt nonetheless. It hurt that he did not trust me the way I trusted him. He was stubborn and bitter and knew how to hit you where it hurt. When he was angry, he was a different person. He no longer cared about who you were to him or that you were a person at all. He wanted to hurt you because you hurt him. I would see fire in his eyes, fire that went deeper than his affections for me, and I always touched the flames. This didn’t help ever, actually but I did it anyways. Because I thought confronting his anger, this anti-human, everything he never wanted to be, would somehow calm him down and reach into whatever remained living deep inside him. It never did.

Looking down at his soft, pale face, I couldn’t remember him being so cruel. All I could think of was how his mouth was just barely ajar, a slight snore escaping them, if you could call it a snore. Sleepy noises. He liked to tell me I made those when I slept. He did, too. I wouldn’t tell him that I watched him sleep sometimes. I ran my fingers down his cheeks and placed them on his lips gently. They were so smooth. I could barely remember the times my mouth crashed into his like violent waves of an ocean, when we couldn’t contain ourselves, when we needed to feel each other or else. Or else what? We never wanted to find out. All I could think of was all the times I planted my own lips against his like a feather. He would pull back and smile that same not-smile that he liked to give. It was more like a smirk; it told you that he knew what you were thinking. I don’t think he ever knew my thoughts, but he tricked me more than I would admit. If he knew my thoughts, I think he would have understood.

Maybe I am not made to love.
I thought this as he intertwined his fingers with mine while we walked down the shore of the beach. Black sunglasses were perched on his nose, shielding his eyes from mine, but I could still tell that he was looking at me. The waves were slow and steady. And blue. Bluer than I could have imagined. The kind of blue he loved. We didn’t talk. My thumb rubbed against the back of his hand instinctively, anxiously. I didn’t know if he knew my warning signs, the things that told me when I was going to get bad. Maybe that was why it always came as a surprise to him. As if I had blindsided him. His lips curved up to form a hint of a smile as he glanced past me and out at the water. I couldn’t take my eyes off of him. I was afraid. I didn’t know why. I was also happy. How the two emotions existed simultaneously, I didn’t know, perhaps never would but I decided that I would have to make do. It was rare that I could feel so content with myself and my surroundings, if only for the most part. I didn’t want to spoil it. I could feel it spoiling in my head. He brought my hand up to his mouth, placing his lips softly against the skin of my hand. I wanted to cry. I did after he fell asleep beside me.

Maybe I am not made to love.
I thought this as I watched him watching everything. He got distracted sometimes. I liked to study how he looked at the world when he thought others weren’t looking at him. I was always looking at him. His expression was mostly blank as he stared forward into the crowds of people, a cone of ice cream in his hand. He seemed peaceful. I didn’t tell him that the sugary sweetness was about to melt onto his hand. I didn’t want to disturb him. His cheekbones were high and strong, and I remembered them against my thigh with a blazing red in my cheeks. From the side, they seemed somehow sharper. I wanted to run my hand down the side of his beautiful face and tell him that I loved him. I didn’t tell him. I assumed he already knew. Perhaps I assumed wrong. His fingers thrummed against his knee. Being a lover of music, his mind was constantly on eighth notes and treble clefts. I loved to hear him play for me, but hell if I knew the specifics.
My fingernails dug into my thighs as I felt a flare of something familiar in my chest. I wasn’t going to cry. I wasn’t going to ruin things with him. Actions speak louder than words.

Maybe I am not made to love. I thought this as I sat alone in my closet, clutching my chest in an attempt to take control of my rapid heartbeat. He was out. I didn’t remember where. All I could remember was how my mother was gone and my father drank and how many people I hurt. I didn’t ask to think of these things. These things made me cry, and I didn’t like to cry. I liked to smile. I liked to be happy. I was happy when he was there. He didn’t know I was hiding in the dark, and I didn’t want him to know. When he knew, he got upset. When he got upset, I tried to explain things to him and they never came out right. When I tried to explain things to him, he only got more upset. I cried. I prayed. I told Him that I wanted to be happy. I prayed that He would listen to me. He usually didn’t, but I understood, because this crazy girl was not worth His time and somehow that notion didn’t hurt. I just understood. I cried at the irony as I crawled back into our empty bed and pushed away my thoughts until I fell into an inevitable nightmare.

Maybe I am not made to love.
I thought this as he stumbled into the room in the early hours of the morning, reaching for anything that could support him. Bile rose into my throat. It took all I had not to throw up on our new sheets. I lashed out at him. I threw what I could find of mine into a small bag and left hastily, ignoring his slurred pleas as he chased, or rather fell after me. I couldn’t hear his words. All I heard was ringing. Bits and pieces of a past life blurred my vision. Shards of glass thrown at me under the disguise of “but I was just drunk!”. Screams that could be heard through the apartment complexes, and probably the next town over. Fighting. Begging to call someone. Being locked in the room for hours. I remembered tearing at the door until I couldn’t feel my hands.

Maybe I am not made to love.
I thought this as I watched him throw his head back with laughter. The sheer joy of it made my heart smile. He never laughed like this, not anymore. I wanted to hear the sound for the rest of my life, if I had to choose just one. I felt happy. I really did. It tugged at the corners of my mind, but the image of him looking so free and peaceful and happy made me feel like I could push it away. For once, I could push it away. He told me stories that I hadn’t heard before. I didn’t know there were any left. I nodded. I listened. I didn’t interrupt. It felt so good and real and right and honest and even if my face wasn’t lit up with a smile I felt more at peace with myself and with him than I ever had. He told me about his mom and his dad and his sister, all of whom I had adopted as my own long ago. He told me about his friends and his exes, to which I felt grossly uncomfortable; and his pets and his enemies and his favorite strangers and more. He told me about everything. I longed to hear more, to hear his voice continue into the next life, and the life after that, until there were no more lives to be had and it was just us existing alone in the universe.

Maybe I am not made to love.
I thought this as he exposed his fangs at me, in this moment more savage than I had ever seen him. I had let it get me again. I had let it take control of me. If I was pathetic enough to get on my knees, I would have. Perhaps I was to that point of pitiful, but I never wanted to get on my knees in front of him without our clothes off, and then was certainly not the time for such activities. His eyes were narrow, hazel and black and white slits in his face, and they were directed at me. I was reminded of a cat looking to hunt, and I was his prey. But he was not a feline, and he had no intentions of devouring me. He was becoming the opposite of himself. In that moment, I wished nothing more than to go back in time and take control. I could not form coherent thoughts, sputtering words out as if I was a broken typewriter. His expression did not change. All I could think of was I’m sorry. That did not matter. He knew those things. That did not remedy the situation. I felt useless.

Maybe I am not made to love.
I thought this as I stared into an empty drawer where his shirts used to sit, the ones I was privy to stealing because he liked them and because I was his when I wore them. I wanted them to appear again, but they didn’t. He was prone to buying shopping carts filled to the brim with plaid, perhaps because I insisted that he buy something for himself, and I would not shut my mouth until he did. I ran my hand over the smooth wood of the dresser. I did not realize I was begging for some splinters. I wanted to feel pain again, the same kind that I experienced only when we fought. I wanted the torture. Because it made me realize every time that he did not deserve me, but he was mine, and I knew that because he reminded me after every fight.

But not this one.

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