My mother always warned me of treacherous men who ate girls’ hearts for breakfast. My father kissed her so hard he damn near broke all her teeth. He left on a Wednesday and my mother never stopped shaking. The whiskey on her breath alone is capable of getting someone drunk, and maybe that’s the excuse of all the men that touch her. She said she liked it that way; no feelings, no attachment.
Like every young, impressionable little girl, I wanted to be just like my mother. At a young age, I learned how to kiss boys and not feel a thing. I had mastered not flinching when they started to trail their hand up my thigh, up my skirt. I grew up numb and detached, just as my mother had taught me. Feelings were only a myth in our house.
But the second you walked into my math class it all changed. I couldn’t help but glance in your direction every few minutes when I was supposed to be calculating the slope of the graph. I went home that day and told my mom all about it. She took a long drag from her cigarette and blew the smoke right in my face. “Don’t get involved.”
I tried, really I did. I focused on my work and left as soon as the bell rang. I kissed boys more frequently, hoping their slimy hands would get you out of my mind. But for fucks sake, we were sat next to each other. I couldn’t help myself, I took in every word you spoke and I was never able to take my eyes off of you. I don’t think I ever picked up my pencil that chapter. I failed the test, but I didn’t care because you called me babe.
I started saying no to boys when they asked me over to their house. My mom started looking at me like I was a carrier of the plague. Fear and worry struck her face when she saw me smiling at my phone. “Baby, you have to leave before he leaves you,” she said over her glass of wine. I looked up long enough to see a tear falling down her cheek.
I didn’t listen to her because I had never felt more at home than I did in your arms.
I guess after feeling nothing for so long, my emotions were too intense and passionate for you. You left me for the girl with delicate pink lips, the girl who loved you just enough, but never too much. You left me a wreck of emotions and my mother won’t stop looking at me like I’m broken. Maybe I look the same way she did when my father left.