last kiss

never thought we’d have a last kiss
never imagined we’d end like this

I’ve spent the last few hours sobbing, mostly on the floor of my closet, though intermittently on my bed while my mom hugged me tight. Staring at nothing, trying to wrap my head around it. It’s been two months since I’ve written here, and that just goes to show how busy and, more importantly, happy I’ve been. I didn’t expect things to end like this, not here and now, not when we were in a good place and only four months in. Not when I loved him, and he loved me. I think I had more faith in him than he has in himself, and maybe that was the problem. It sucks, to be so happy and have it all come crashing down on me.

Did this happen because of the conversation we had that final night, about distant futures and what we saw in them? Was it because I didn’t want to leave? Was it because he did? 

My mom says he’ll come crawling back and my best friend says he’s selfish, and they both may be right. He overthinks everything and has this fantasy in his mind of what his life should be like right now and apparently I don’t fit into it. He’s indecisive and he comes and goes like the rain and I can’t think of a single sacrifice he’s made for me other than staying when part of him didn’t want to. But even that, he said, was ultimately the right decision. Until now. He had everything. I gave him everything I had and he changed his mind. And we both cried.

What does his word mean, if anything? He said he never wanted to hurt me but tonight he broke my heart. Not because anything was wrong with us, but because something’s wrong with him. He shattered everything for a whim, a gut instinct. And I appreciate his honesty and his tears but they don’t change the fact that he broke his promise or that I was stupid to believe it in the first place. I don’t want to be angry; I’m mostly sad and gutted, but a part of me is furious that he would throw this away, throw me away, for whatever the fuck a “period of exploration” is. It’s been four fucking months and he already misses being single? Except he’s not even a guy who sleeps around in the first place? He tried to soften the blow by telling me he sees us going forward and never stopping, but that just makes the loss burn and blister even more. It kills me that he’s willing to waste this beautiful opportunity we’ve been given to do life for a little while with someone who’s such a good fit for the other because he wants to see what, or rather, who else is out there. Because he’s scared to “settle down” with me without having seen it. The problem is, I’ve made no promises to either settle down with him or be waiting to once he’s grown up.

so I’ll watch your life in pictures like I used to watch you sleep
and I’ll feel you forget me like I used to feel you breathe

That paragraph was the anger. Then comes the shame, of finally telling my family about him, of posting about him, of thinking maybe this was it, that I’d gotten lucky for once and that maybe this could last. What has he told his parents, his grandparents, his friends, all of whom I just met when I went down to visit? How can he confidently introduce me as his girlfriend one day and dump me a week later?

It’s nearly midnight and I’m exhausted from all the saltwater flowing down my face. Three times now, I’ve endured this. Maybe this is the final breaking point, because I’m done holding on for dear life and fighting for him with all I have. It isn’t fair, but neither is life. Maybe he’ll mature and figure himself out in the next few weeks or months and maybe when he does I’ll be ready. But maybe neither of those ifs will align or maybe I should wait for someone who can love and appreciate me enough to stay.

It’s absolutely heartbreaking, not being enough.


to him (what I want to say but won’t)

Tell me how you justify it. I’m your first girlfriend in twenty one years and because it’s going well you need to fuck us both over? Is it because I gave you a confidence boost, or were you overconfident to begin with? What makes you think there’s someone better out there, and even if there is, you don’t want to be in a relationship, remember? Who else is going to put up with you always putting your friends above her except when you want to fuck? The only girl who will put up with your commitment phobia aside from me is one who only wants to fuck. These were things I was going to talk to you about, either tonight or this week or in August, but I guess I don’t need to anymore. I don’t fucking get it and to be honest, I don’t think you do either. You couldn’t even explain it to me before I hung up for good.

I shouldn’t have to fight to convince you that you want to be with me, so I’m not going to. But I hope you know how much this hurts, and I hope you realize someday that you lost a damn good thing. And if you ever snap out of it and come to your senses about life and commitment and relationships, I hope you’ll reach out to me. You have a lot of maturing to do, and I know you’d read that in your weird pronunciation if you were here, but I wish you were willing to do it with me. Friends won’t be the same without you, and I’m crying again thinking of all we had and all the potential we’ve lost. I wish I could say I understand, that I’m not upset, but I can’t. You have to look out for you, but this was a selfish way to do it and I literally cannot comprehend where you’re coming from because I’m not scared of our relationship. I’m not scared of where we are right now. If I look a year into the future and we’re still together, it’s a little scary because then we have to start making adult decisions about our lives. But that’s a year from now and that’s future Martha’s problem, or at least it was until today. This was all just fun and figuring out how to be together and be happy; I guess now that we’ve done that you have to end things. You’re self-destructive and I’m just caught in the crossfire. But go, go to Europe and figure it out for yourself. Maybe you’ll have the fantasy you’re envisioning or maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll miss me or maybe you won’t. I don’t know how long you need or whether you’ll even want this, me, back. But it wasn’t fair of you to ghost me for days and then blindside me with a breakup. And it isn’t fair of you to say you see yourself settling down with me when your actions are saying the exact opposite.

The most heartbreaking part is, I saw that too.

thoughts from a wooden desk

My back hurts, sitting at this wooden desk going stir crazy and waiting for a text that will probably never come (it did). The boy in front of me is wearing a cool shirt with old English and French words written all over it in tiny font and I want to ask him what book or play they come from (I didn’t). I have four papers due in a week and a half timespan and to say that I’m stressed is an understatement – I am completely overwhelmed. He doesn’t want me to meet his parents and trust me, I don’t either. Where is this thing headed, anyway? I want to ask him for a shirt but not if it’s ending; the smell would just make me sad in the summer heat, lying in someone else’s bed. Do I want that? No. But how long someone chooses to love you will never be your decision. I’ve passed the point of avoiding pain – whenever this ends, it will hurt, and that’s terrifying. I hurt too much last year to go through it again, my heart still bruised from the beating it took, which is part of why I wasn’t sure whether I even wanted this. But life isn’t fair, is it? After all, I’ve loved and been loved, but I still haven’t learned how to gracefully bear the cost. I should pay more attention in class, but this is what’s on my mind and I’ve never been good at listening anyway. I’m not an artist, yet I keep trying to paint with my words. The jungles of Vietnam are whispering to me from across two oceans and continents, asking me if I’m ready.

I am.


Say hello, then say farewell to the places you know
We are all mortals, aren’t we? Any moment this could go
Cry, cry, cry, even though that won’t change a thing
But you should know, you should hear, that I have loved
I have loved the good times here, and I will miss our good times
– Frank Ocean, “Strawberry Swing”

Sturdy boots, all worn leather and thick soles, treading on a bed of pine needles, feeling the crunch of them beneath my feet as I step between the whispering fir trees and soft rays of sunlight flickering through the filter of old branches that have towered above for centuries, bearing witness to the thousands of footsteps that have walked this path before me. It’s a summer full of possibilities and it’s nice to have options, but I can’t help thinking that I might be making a mistake in letting him go. What good could possibly come from three months of distant attachment; what good could come from throwing it all away? I’m at a crossroads in the woods, the trees twisting away to the right and left to reveal the two of them standing before me, all godlike and glistening, and they’re asking me to choose. I don’t want my heart broken again, don’t know the best way to keep a spark, only a budding ember born this spring, alive in a season so full of life and love and glorious sunshine – perhaps it’ll be a different sort of adventure. He wants to have his cake and eat it too, all yellow insides smothered in chocolate frosting, licking icing off his fingers as I eye the crumbs lining his mouth. I shouldn’t settle for mere crumbs, but what if they lead me down a trail to something more, if only I’m patient enough to follow them? Two paths, but he has to pick one – and so do I.

Which road is the one less traveled?

nostalgia ultra

Spaceships are lifting off of a dying world
And millions are left behind while the sky burns
There wasn’t room for you and I, only you, goodbye, goodbye
– Frank Ocean, “Strawberry Swing”

I’m angry. Angry about Barcelona, the blackness that crept in and cloaked memories I shouldn’t even want to have, about the blood the next morning and that it was my first time. I’m angry about the power structure, with close-minded people and our limited perspective and why can’t we be for our own interests and for others’ at the same time? And I’m angry with my chapter, with all the stupid rules and money-grabbing and not caring about our well-being whilst hiding behind a veil of “sisterhood” and “love in our bond.” Let’s call a spade a spade and realize it’s a business in which we are treated like children and have very little say. Fuck that shit.

I remembered a late-night vignette from last summer this morning (or early afternoon, rather, as I slept for twelve hours last night and got an incredibly late start to my day). Standing in a bathroom on the top floor, the smell of dirty dishes wafting in from the kitchen, me leaning against the stall door and him against the sink, towering over me and asking to see my tattoos. Blue sadness creeping in, but it’s been months since I moved on and I have someone else now. I read a book in the fall that talked about how millennials have trouble settling down with one person because we’re wired to constantly search for something, someone, better. The whole package. But are options, the potential to have someone else, worth giving up something good in the here and now? It was him in the moment, but in the aftermath it was a built up idea in my head and my heart of someone who was beautiful inside and out, someone who would never hurt me. That wasn’t fair to either of us, but who ever said feelings were fair? Love is pain and I don’t want to get hurt again, but I think it’s too late for that; we’re already in too deep and he can make all the promises he wants but that doesn’t mean he’ll keep them. A person’s word is their currency and time will tell how much his is worth.