i’m from the timeline where
we never met, lemmings. you
should know this by now. it’s why
i get so giddy when you call, why my
voice quakes and shudders around you.
and still i worry that part of me isn’t
quite over 2013-14, what happened
then. the things you said, the things i did
i tell myself it’s normal that i’m so drawn
to you. this isn’t your fault, you know. it’s
me. it’s the way i was programmed—to see
things in u.v. light only, a dark sort of glow around
it all. & around you, in my mind: steel blue.
you tell me that you’re sorry for what happened
back then, the things you said. how i reacted.
i don’t know how to tell you that i haven’t
processed any of it—just locked it all away.
explaining the undercurrent of terror that runs through
my talks with you, about you, etc., is impossible. that’s
not to say i don’t know where it came from—but i can’t
explain why it’s still here. i’m trying to convince myself
that this is fine, but you’re the only one of my friends who
scares me. i thought i had worked the terror out of my words,
but apparently not.
i swear i love you. there’s just this awfulness that lives inside
of me, whispering in my ear, maybe he’s still bad. maybe he
still wants to hurt you. and part of me knows that’s not true.
part of me doesn’t care. all in one breath i’m crying into a pillow,
saying what if he hates me, what if we’re growing apart, and then: it doesn’t matter. it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter.
i don’t know what things would be like if i had stayed in
the timeline where we never met. but despite everything,
i’m glad to be in this one.