Memories of him still nip at my skin- piercing me with their arctic intent. I try to escape the images by huddling on the shower floor, hot water acting as my shield. But the steaming water can’t protect me from the truth, I did know what “this” was. “This” was me falling in love with the shadow of a man’s heart.
As long as he thought I was unavailable, I was safe. As soon as he realized the truth, my heart was his to obtain. I avoided being alone with him. I was weary of his objectives and his influence over me; however, time provided me with arrogance and I thought I could hold my own against him.
It started again, this time the beginning was him rescuing me from a dark parking lot. My fault was that I still trusted him with every piece of me. That night he took me speeding in his car- the starry sky and music surrounded us. I became intoxicated with serenity and I lost myself to him. I should’ve seen the sign when he took a week to text me back but the fatality of trust is that it blinds a person to obvious ill intent.
When he told me I had to be a secret because others disapproved of my presence, I accepted it as divine retribution for how I had treated him prior. I let him lead me to become nothing but a willing body for his release. I became devoted to his body. He trained me well.
After each night he spent in my bed, he would reward me with my favorite breakfast treats. He surprised me by remembering everything that I had favored and continued reminding me of how much attention he had paid to me. My devotion deepened by the feeling of debt and I submitted to being beneath him.
I asked him to stop being so kind; for what “this” was supposed to be, it was unnecessary and muddled my feelings more. He never did comply.
He continued to go out of his way to ensure my physical well-being by ensuring I was nourished while around him. His attention to my body is why I trusted him- he was always catching me when I’d stumble beside him. However, it was the joy he gave me when we were racing on the slick asphalt, the playfulness of him pushing me in the cold water of the showers, and him holding me while I was covered in sweat- these were reasons why I fell in love with him.
He had become a permanent fixture in my life again- he had managed to find me in the rain when I was drunk, he looked after me the night when I was broken, and he carried me to bed when I was too tired to place myself there properly. He did so many things in exchange for my agony.
The tears I refused to shed when he rejected me still belong to him. The images of him carrying me in his arms still haunt me in my hallway. He was right, I had always known what “this” was- the sacrificing of my heart in exchange for the closure he had not been able to receive previously. Ghosts of his fingerprints leave me jaded. The pain he buried deep inside my heart festers from the damage he caused- He left me broken.