Submitted Date 03/11/2019

There is a girl tucked deep inside of my heart who whispers for me to reach out to you again. To put myself back in a situation that was just boiling water rumbling beneath me, waiting for the scissors to snip her to fall. She thinks it is too cold in the silence, but she never really learns, even from the burns that she keeps like destination points mapped on her body from past remnants of loving you. I do not know if it's really you that she wants or just to sink back into a familiar pain that only you could supply.

She is the only thing in my body that still carries hope for a sort of love I have never known, and although I've shrunk her down until she could only resemble a small pea, I can still hear her ask and mumble please in the midst of nights where all I have now is the low hum from the fading lights above my head or the silence that echoes through my body from glances at a ringless cell and your broken promises to call.

I know she's naive wanting the sound of you to come back and startle the peace in the tides that my heart slowly pumps lazily throughout the day. She tells me that she just can't feel anything when I assure her that the peace and the silence and the lack of any current for the waves do not mean that we are dying. But she tells me it is worse feeling that we are suffocating than dying. She wants the storm; the wind and the waves and the sound of your voice to crash across against our bones like it used to so familiarly. She wants what once was, even though 'what once was' sometimes only felt like waves trying to find a pathway into my lungs to fill them up a little too much. But she thinks asking for air and a voice to speak was better than not speaking at all.

Nestled beneath the darkness in my body is a small shrivel of hope or a sprout that once tried to grow into something more. But it has dried out from the dust storms. A seed that now carries a positivity so foreign to me, it thinks love is something attainable, but it was never able to get there. I say I think it's because love is never attainable, it thinks it's because I do not allow anything to get near it or stay around long enough for it to grow and see even a crack of light. It thinks I am the one pushing down at the soil to keep it under, but I assure it that I have no time to even care for it or water it myself.

But one day I know that the space in my chest that you once occupied will be filled with something that isn't ghosts to haunt the inner walls, filled with thoughts of you and 'what ifs'.

It will no longer be filled with various methods and lists of things I can use to fill up the emptiness with. One day the smoke will exit the air from the broken windows you left behind. I will no longer need to fill the drain pipes with the alcohol in hopes that maybe that will clear the last remnants of the thoughts of you out. I know I do not need to replace the floorboards or the windows or the unused furniture and scrub away the fingerprints you left before the exit. This was not a perfect crime scene. I already know it has you written all over the breakthrough. I know I do not need to go looking for you, as much as I want you back. I know I do not need to beg you to move back into a place you destroyed. I know I do not need to repair it all and ask you to come back, to show you the newness that I have made from it. To bribe you with shiny things and a better me I have made of myself just so you can move back in and destroy it like the last.

One day I know I can leave the room alone. To not search for you. I know to not ask another to move into the same spot you once occupied. I now know that I can build a better room, in a different space of my heart, far away from the one that I thought was worthy of something. I know I have more space. I know that I should use it for myself. Because I spend more time outside of these rooms than the people and things that spend time in it. I know now to build a fireplace and decorate the rooms with rugs and blankets and things I love, for myself. I know now to only open the door for people who will treat everything with respect, not like a free stay at a hotel, not like they have room service from me or an endless supply of samples and free requests. I will let someone in one day because they knock. Because they want to come. I will let them see the seeds in my garden and let them decide if they want to water them or not, and if they don't, someday this will be fine because I will be already watering them myself.

The girl within my heart doesn't know the difference from want and need, but I do not tell her. I listen to her when she asks to be snipped into the boiling water. I listen to her when she begs me to let love in even though she does not understand it herself. I just don't do what she says. I take care of her and try to let her know that sometimes it's better just to be alone in the silence and learn to be ok with it. That sometimes it's better to ignore the ghosts of the people who have left us and the people we have left. That it's better not to yearn or be greedy because then we just let the same greedy people into our own lives. I will try to move on from the dust and grime that you left me without searching through it for a reason or a meaning. I will try to only see it as dust and grime. I will try not to ask you. I will try to not make a meaning for someone who just gave up.


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