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Past tense is always painful

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Sometimes I wish I had never met you. Or, since even after everything that thought is so painful, I rather wish that you’d never singled me out. That I had never got to be with you in the first place.

At least then I could dream about being with you. You took even that away from me.

8 8 8

You are so much easier to think of in metaphors.

You did, after all, explode in my life; sweep me up and swallow me whole. If you’re my bomb, my natural disaster, my big bad wolf then I don’t have to hide from the shrapnel or rebuild after the tidal wave or tend the wounds your teeth made.

If you’re any of those, you’re still mine.

8 8 8

“You aren’t dancing.”

The first thing you said to me. Screamed at me, really, to be heard over the music. Tiny in a way that made even me look tall in comparison, but you carried yourself like you owned the club, like you would just have to snap your fingers and the world would fall over itself to serve you. A purple haired, facially pierced Alexander, conqueror of all she surveyed.

Who was I to stand in the way of that? You might as well try to stop an oncoming train by politely asking it not to run you over. But I tried. I said “I don’t dance.” And all you did was raise an eyebrow and tell me “You do now.”

And I did. You dragged me onto the dancefloor and made me dance to everything; good music and bad, and you laughed at the faces I pulled when crap songs came on and made me dance harder to those ones.

You made me buy you a beer – ‘None of that cheap lager shit, get me a pint of Pedigree’ – and you licked your arm like a cat when it spilled onto you while we danced. And you bought us both round after round of tequila and bossed me into doing the shots right, grinned at me before you bit into the lime with your sharp little teeth.

Afterwards you pushed me up against the wall and pressed so tightly against me; your breasts soft, your nails hard as they bit into my wrists. Your breath was hot on my throat and I had an odd, wild moment of panic, like I shouldn't be letting you that close to my jugular and then you kissed me.

And your kiss didn't feel dangerous, didn't feel deadly. You kissed me softly, with a hum in your throat like a contented purr, and the only thing sharp about it was the lingering tang of lime on your lips.

It made everything go quiet inside me in a burst and when you pulled back and said “I'm taking you home” all I could say was “Yes.”

I think it was then I fell in love with you. In the quiet.

8 8 8

We were in bed on a summer afternoon so humid and hot that the only thing to do is to stay in and get hotter, work up a sweat. Low was on in the background, incongruously singing about it being just like Christmas, I was down at the foot of the bed and you were leaning on a mound of pillows at the headboard, eating Italian chocolates and reading out the quotes about love that are wrapped around each one under their foil, in the manner of a romantic fortune cookie.

“’When writing of women, one must dip one’s pen in the rainbow’. It sounds terribly stuffy in English, it’s much better in French ‘Quand on écrit des femmes, il faut tremper sa plume dans l’arc-en-ciel'” you paused and then slowly, deliciously, as if tasting it, repeated “l’arc-en-ciel… I like that.”

I kept my head down. Kissed your ribs and the curve of your waist, the slight swell of your stomach and whispered that a rainbow wasn't enough for you. That you deserved silver and gold, words of diamond and pearls. Words of the purest, shining emerald.

I murmured all this into the sweet, soft terrain of your skin and told you, each kiss down your inner thighs into the heart of you a promise, that I’d be your hero and fetch the words for you. Adorn you with them.

And you laughed and called me Superman as you curled your leg around me. Pressed your foot into my back in encouragement and told me to make you feel like you were flying.

8 8 8

If it hadn't been so good then maybe it wouldn't hurt so much. But you were an elegant stiletto blade and you slipped inside me so gently I didn't realise I’d been cut till you walked away and I found myself bleeding out.

“I just don’t want to be with you anymore.”

At least you had enough respect for me not to try and soften the blow. And when you met my eyes there wasn't any pity in yours. My friends hated you for that - 'The least she could do is pretend that she's sorry!' - but it felt right to me.

You had always been a force of nature, and everyone knows nature is often a heartless bitch.

8 8 8

There are songs I can’t listen to now because they remind me of you and I feel sick, physically ill when I listen to them. I watch films about wiping the very existence of lost loves from your mind and want that so much I have to bite my nails into my palms to keep from reaching out for it.

I don’t want to be gracious and grown up about this. I want to tell you that every time I see you more tiny parts of me get torn away; that all the hurtful poetry I read is about you now; that all the fairy tale villains have your face.

I see you in clubs, dancing with other women; the ones that came after me and I want to warn them ‘She will kill you, in a terrible way. She will kill you and leave you as one of the walking dead, knowing the heart of you has been cut out’. I wish I could scream at them to save themselves, to save me, to run out of the burning building and take me with them.

I wish there was a way I could run all the way back to the beginning and push myself out of the way of the danger, out of your speeding oncoming path…

And I wish I didn't know that, even if I could be your Superman and speed around the world, turning time backwards, when you hold out your hand and demand that I dance I will.

I will always dance to your tune.