You shouldn’t start with the boy who leaves you under his bed like dirty laundry. But you do anyway, because surely a questionable hand is better than none? You will learn. This isn’t like the movies.
You are an unread message and so willing, too willing to fall. You are a fool and he knows it. Icarus may have been naive, but you have confused his tender touch for the gentleness of love. They do not equate. Not in this world.
He will tear himself from your life and in moments of weakness, you will wonder if your reluctance led to his departure. If it led to a colder stare from a changed boy, I wish you would ignore it. You were never the cause.
He will eventually return, and I wonder when you will learn. The sheets don’t hold the reprisal you seek, between smoky hands and the memory of flames. It is wrong, and you will hold sleepless regret like broken glass to your chest. Held out far enough to be alone, and close enough to feel the sharp edges.
It takes you a year to forget.
You drown yourself in crushes and sparks, boys and girls, and your heart wants touch when in fact it needs tenderness. You don’t feel anything but the breathless weight of dirty laundry on your back.
But eventually, you do meet someone. He won’t fix a year of festering regret in an instant, but he will never make you yield. He is the close encounters in laundry rooms and lazy embraces in the morning. He is patient and pauses when you falter. You will never feel less human than you do now.
He does not blame you for what you’ve done. And eventually, you will follow suit.
Text by Ashley Wong
Featured image by Pui San