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You should have been here

“What do you do when the one who means the most to you is the one who didn’t show?” — Taylor Swift

Hot tears well up, but I can’t let them fall. I just spent 45 minutes on my make-up and the black of the eyeliner makes my green eyes look like emeralds. I need to look pretty.

The sense of desperation rushes in, and I have to hold back begging. It’s just 30 minutes. It isn’t even that long, even though I have so many stories to cram into that time slot.

You don’t mean to disappoint me, but I do mean to make excuses, play it off, bury my broken heart.

You should have been here.

I couldn’t focus at school. I couldn’t go home. I couldn’t live with myself. My skin felt like an ill-fitting, scratchy drug store costume that was left in the bin on November 1st. For the first time in my life, I couldn’t explain what was going on inside of me.

I needed a friend. I needed a slap in the face. I needed a bucket of cold water dumped on my head. I needed the person who touched my wrist and tied my bow.

You should have been here.

It’s funny how easy it is to fade into the background when you feel like there’s a spotlight on your self destruction. Eyes glaze over me, and then I realize that it doesn’t matter if I stand right here and pour gasoline over my head, dynamite in each hand. There’s so much else to see, to be honest.

You should have been there.

I can see myself curled up in the ball and it’s pathetic, — I know it’s pathetic. There needs to be something lower than pathetic because I know that’s what I am. I can see how I brood, how I don’t cover my mouth when I laugh anymore, how I read meaning into every minuscule action because there’s good in us all. I lived for nothing. I died for everyone. I left myself behind. I messed up. I let me down. I let you down.

I should have been there.

It’s a lot easier for me to accept the blame and write out my paragraph than it is any one else’s. I have always felt like the common thread of misery in the lives I encounter is me. If I was X, Y or Z enough you wouldn’t have any of these problems. You would be more proud. We would have been on that boat.

The tears stain my foundation. My eyelashes are falling out. I hate that so much.

In a moment of brief clarity, the knot in my belly eases and I ask, “maybe it’s not always my fault?”

“I thought we all knew that?”

I smile. That’s a nice thought, and I intend to believe that one day.

 

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