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I look at her through the window, blue laced dress holding a bottle of ginger soda, accidentally spilling some up her leg. She laughs as she looks across the table at you. Her hands are small and she wears a gold watch that you got her last Christmas. She reaches over and places her hand on your wrist, you look up and take in her silhouette, the way her brown eyes look at you. She smiles and traces two fingers against your open palm, you feel the lightness of her being and you like how she eases violent thoughts that tick in your brain. She looks to the side as someone passes by as though she’s thinking of a story she’d like to tell. You ask “what is it?” and she simply says, “i think he’s someone I knew…” You like the innocence in disguise, the kind she plays down so she can look straight into your eyes. You underestimate her beaten down chest, as if she’s never watched a part of herself die. You look at her with all the love you could ever garner, knowing it may never be enough for a mended heart like hers. But you’ve already lost yourself and eventually you’ll lose her too. It will be a night in fall and you both saw it coming, but she’ll still cry over you. She’ll beg you to listen, and you’ll look at her with an emotionless expression, walking away one last time. She’ll call you cruel and you’ll tell her she should have known. You’ll drive off and she’ll stand there hopelessly expecting you to come back. In the end she’ll write you to say she loves you and she understands. You won’t respond. You’ll try to remember her laugh but no longer be able to replay the sound. You’ll think for a second if you made a mistake, but quickly go back to the numbness you’ve normalized by now. You’ll believe she isn’t worth soft skin, the uncomfortable texture of unfamiliar kindness, the feeling of your heart possibly scraping pavement. You’ll watch yourself go cold as if you couldn’t hear the sound of her being buried alive because of you. She will be left with torturous unanswered questions and a pounding heartache. Months will pass and you’ll realize in broken mirrors and feelings that refuse to disappear, she was trust, she was love, she was your innocence personified. And you are nothing but sharp glass and the mangled, bloody reflection of those who first hurt you. You’ll beg yourself to be better but but you’ll ask yourself “with what?” You’ll imagine pounding your fists against glass begging to rewind time, begging yourself not to harm her. You’ll imagine tears, you’ll imagine sadness. Until your realize all of your heart is a compilation of imagined moments you feigned for the purpose of being loved but never having to love back. You’ll feel warm tears on your cheeks and press your hands against your face. You’ll feel regret in the wetness hitting your fingertips and you’ll feel hatred thinking of how many times she must have cried over you. But you will never respond. You will never say goodbye. You will never even say “I’m sorry”. Instead you’ll sit back in your chair, look up with a blank stare, and pretend as if nothing happened. And the saddest part is that to you, to the person you’re insisting on being, maybe nothing did.

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