the house that love built

Weren’t we supposed to love each other? Weren’t we supposed to rub noses and dance in our underwear?

What happened to us? To forever and ever? To first and always? To brighter skies and better days?

We took turns tearing it down. Ripping apart the house that love built nail by nail. Shingle by shingle.

Maybe we were angry. Or lost. Maybe we were scared. Maybe we were even brave. But before we knew it, we were broken. We were broken beyond repair.

Scars grew around our wounds. Twisted like ivy. Heavy as an anchor. And so we sank together to the bottom of the sea.

At the end, I looked at you and us and yawned. I looked at the past and the future and winced. So I called you up. And I let you go.

Weren’t we supposed to love each other? We did. To rub noses and dance in our underwear? We did that too.

Then we lit our love on fire and watched it burn to the ground.

But from the ashes, something else grew. Not for us. No, no, no. We were long gone.

But among the wreckage and the mess, the smoke and the  glowing embers, I learned a lot about love. I learned how to give. How to fall apart. How to hold back while still letting go. I learned love is neither a battle or a war. It does come easy. But it’s always hard work. I learned that even pain is beautiful. That the good memories are forever worth the bad.

There were six years. Many fights. Endless regrets. But I walked away with my heart in tact. And l have learned to love again.

a girl broke my heart

It was a girl named Katie who first broke my heart.

She wasn’t the one I loved, I guess. Not in the diamond rings and white dresses and ‘till death do us part’ kind of way.

I loved her the way any unassuming 16-year-old loves a friend. With commitment and endlessness and simplicity, I suppose. I loved her in a ‘I hope you’ll hold my bouquet and adjust my train one day’ kind of way.

We celebrated the middle of March each year by buying each other a gift. We laughed at jokes that no one else found funny. We slept on each other’s floors on the weekends. Stayed up until all hours of the morning telling secrets and believing the world was ours.

And I told her things I thought only she could understand – the way I felt about the boy I was seeing. That I adored him. That he was consuming me. That I thought he was the one. That I finally felt ready to have sex with him. That I completely lost myself in the euphoria of him.

I told her those things. All those things. Every last moment. Every detail.

Those were the things I thought only she would understand.

She did understand.

Only later did I realize just how well.

I went away for school and left the two of them together. The boy I loved more than anything and the girl I trusted with everything.

And they found each other.

And they forgot about me.

Time came and did the best it could to heal, but I still cannot think of the gruesome details without wanting to buckle over and vomit.

The two of them fucking in the back of his small green pick-up. Pulled over in Hurt Road Park, judged by only little league fields and empty concession stands. How many times did he pull away there with me as only the faintest reality suffocated in the back of the his head? Or hers?

For a while I was so sure he broke my heart. I thought it was he who shredded me up inside.

But years later, I’ve long forgotten him. Him and his selfishness and his perfection. His opinions and his qualifications. I never quite got a hold of him. He was always just out of reach

But I remember her. That girl, the one whose breasts he groped and kissed – that was my best friend. The brown eyes he stared into once told me I could trust them with all my secrets. The dark curls he wrapped his fingers around, I pinned them in an up-do for her prom. I pulled them out of her face for her own father’s funeral.

What a fool I was to fall for her.

Sure, it hurt that he would do that to me, but boys break hearts. I knew every moment of that relationship that he was going crush me.

But your friends, they’re supposed to be the ones who pick the shattered pieces of you off the ground. Not the ones holding the sledgehammer.

It was my best friend Katie who pulled the trigger and walked away. It was my best friend Katie who dug the knife in my back then twisted it around. It was my best friend Katie who first broke my heart.