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Here's What I Thought I Knew

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Here it is, my first love. Could I call it love? Not really. Yes.


I’m not sure if it’s because he doesn’t like me, or if it’s because I don’t have the smile he’s seeking out. Did I imagine we built this so strong? And I was so young, too immature. I didn’t know what I was doing.


But who could have? How was I supposed to understand that I would get hurt in the end, liking a person with a dangerous personality? He was always flitting.


Sometimes you fall in love with the laughter, and not the person. It’s hard to know what you’re falling in love with when…


You’re in seventh grade. It’s New Year’s Eve, and he’s the only one who’s ever looked at you twice. Everything he says makes you feel warm and full of bubbles, floating to the ceiling and popping when they hit the chandelier.
But then seventh turns to eighth, and eighth leaves you with missed opportunities and too much time wasted caring what other people think.


Eighth gives way to ninth. Winter break shows the truth. I stare out the window at the falling snow, but the light behind me reveals my reflection in the cold window glass. Maybe there was something there, maybe the word maybe is just a transitional word I use to cover my mistake.


It was never me, it was never me, it was never me. Too much wasted time.


I drive my inner sadness and disappointment into anger. Crash. She’s awful. No she’s not. I’m better. No you’re not. Of course it was never me! He never had to make a choice between the two. Why must your personality be so much like a butterfly’s wings, flapping, flitting, up.


Down, up.


Me or her? Her or me?


February this year is warm. I wore a navy sweater anyway.


It’s a night spent next to plaid pajama pants, paired with a t-shirt and glasses, which looks really nice on him. This smile is kinder, his eyes softer. My mom always told me: when meeting a new person, you can always tell their intentions by their eyes.


He yells “BS!” I give up all my cards. Kings, jacks, aces, twos, threes, hearts.


You are gone. I’m chasing someone else. I call out two ones. Smack the cards down on the table. Of course that’s BS, because I’ve only ever had 1. But you know what? I think I’m playing my cards right now.


To move on feels like the warmest hug.






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