Submitted Date 08/10/2019

To the girl who pushed it all away:

16. How unfortunate it must have been to feel like a glass bead rattling within a rag doll body of skin. To have no light switch in the deepest corners within yourself, in the dark that moved through you like tar. "Lost" is something that does not go away, but it should never have to feel as isolated and cold as it did for you. When your own enemy if yourself, I can't apologize or tell you what to do. I couldn't help you. I still can't.

19. If I could ask you anything, I would only ask you why. I have come to realize that "why" is a big enough word for you. There is no full sentence that you need. There is no specific word that must be pinpointed or ticked on the dart board of your messy heart to know what it is that I need the answer to. Though I don't ask it in a harsh way. I am not standing here, four years apart, to judge you. I just still don't quite have the answer myself, because in truth, I lost you before the clock could strike midnight for a new year. When you were almost consumed in the ringing of your ears, closing in on you right and left, like a sandwich for your brain, compressing slowly and pulling your eyelids closed, I had already lost you days before. Almost dying didn't feel like much to you because you had felt dead for months. I know. I just don't know why.

K. Let her go. The moment she locks eyes with you know that you instilled upon her a magnetic pull that should have been broken the moment it started. You spent two years lying to two women and shredding their hearts apart. She only fell for you because she saw the hurt in your eyes that looked just like hers. She knew everything you were struggling with because she once did, too. She stuck with you for so long because she thought things could change, because she did, she changed, but she was only so wrong about you. Please just go. At 20 she didn't need to go through a different hell of trying to love a reflection of herself at 19, as if she wanted to re-do the mistakes she made that led 18 to almost dying. She was scared for you. She really fucking loved you.

18. When you sell all your clothes for more cash to by booze with, I hope that is when you stop and get catapulted high enough to view the situation from the very top. To see the messy pathway, you have started to create for yourself, sprinkling breadcrumbs of empty bottles behind you, but you won't. 18 is something you will never remember again because 80% or more of it was spent drunk and blacked out. I wish it would've stopped at throwing up all night, but it didn't. I wish it would've stopped at realizing that you can't remember a single thing, or bringing a thermos of vodka to class, or skipping class, or failing class, or cheating, and lying, and lying. You lied so much I'm not quite sure you even knew the truth. I can't recognize you, and I know you couldn't, too.

L. She isn't ready. She's hurting and upset, and you were the one light at the end of the tunnel that shined a little too bright for eyes that had been in the dark for so many years. It was exactly what she needed and everything that she was afraid of. So, she's going to push you away. And I'm sorry for that. And know that she will regret it for the rest of her life because you were the one pure thing that fell into her world that did not deserve to hurt the way that she made you hurt. It won't be until the year laps around, until you bump into each other at the beach and do all the things you used to do in a little town you showed her that she will realize what real love really is. She'll want to say it when you make that thirty-minute drive, but she won't. She won't because she loves you and she hears you. She hears your what your life is now, how you are happy, how you are dating, how you are doing well for once, because you weren't when she stumbled into your life. She won't tell you. But she will never stop feeling

21. If there is a perfect time to stop pushing people away it is now. At this time, you will meet beautiful souls from left to right that will brighten your life and give you so much meaning. Stop hiding. Stop being afraid of losing them. Stop being afraid.

19. When you wake up still drunk and reach for your phone try to recognize the feeling in the belly of your stomach that is tugging you slowly out of your own dark hole and don't sabotage it this time. Write it down and talk to them about it later. Later when you aren't drunk. Later. And when you don't, at least hold on to the fact that you felt something that you felt a year ago. Know that it won't go away. It won't ever go away.

N. When she asks you to go to the store to buy her booze and you realize you are neighbors too, say no. Or don't say anything at all. You are about to dip your toes in a tidal wave of pain. I warned you once. She won't stop drinking. She won't stop pulling away and running back to you. She will almost leave this world in the back of your speeding car as you rush to the hospital and it's still not worth it to try and save her from the beginning. From the bottom of her heart she will always be sorry that you ever had the unfortunate fate of meeting her. She didn't mean to bring you with her to the bottom. She'll spend the next six months trying to articulate sorry in the wrong ways but keep doing the one thing you did right and ignore her.

And maybe in another life she'll have to have the job of warning every person she had stumbled upon before to steer clear. Or she'll have to be on the other side, stuck loving someone who could not even stay there presently to hold their heart carefully enough to not break it.

If I could help her see. If I could change her mind.

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