For Made Up Words
One thing I’ve noticed is that they never tell you what really happens.
I wouldn’t necessarily call it withholding information, but if the cap fits then I’m going to make sure they wear it. They never warn you to watch your step, to look out for footprints in front of you, crushed leaves and trodden snow — simple signs that maybe you’re not the first one here.
Everything they do tell you is made up of sugar-coating and lies. To get your hopes up, rocketing at the speed of light until suddenly you’re burning up and spiralling straight towards the ground.
They never tell you that it’ll feel like swallowing fire. It’ll feel like falling through glass. It’ll feel like watching the walls fall on top of you and then you’re trapped. Because really, that is what they should have told you. That is the most important thing about it all. The one thing that can drown you in your sea of belief. It really should be the first thing they say.
That falling in love with the wrong person absolutely sucks.
I fell for him fast and in slow motion, all at once, the way you fall off a chair. Suddenly time slows down as you head towards the floor and yet you are fully aware that you’ll hit the ground in less than a second. It’s crazy and exhilarating and terrifying.
And in my case, painful.
He was all blue eyes and autumn hair and I was the mess that clung onto his shadow, desperate to climb out of the darkness and into his light. There were days when I was convinced he liked me back, our connection sparking like lightning, my heart pounding like thunder. We’d sit together for hours complaining about things we secretly loved, laughing together like even the air was tickling us. But I didn’t care what we did. As long as I was near him.
“Frightening, isn’t it?” he whispered to me one evening as we were walking back from the park. The sky was in that middle ground, neither the colour of the day nor the colour of the night. “How quickly you can begin to really feel something for someone.”
My heart was plugged into a socket, charging up to full. Was this his way of telling me that he liked me? Was this him confessing?
Did he feel it too?
I took a deep breath. “It’s worth every second, though, every moment of fear. Because it can lead to something so exceptional.”
He nodded enthusiastically, agreeing. “It sets you on fire, doesn’t it? I’ve never felt this way before, not like this. I love it and yet I’m terrified.”
“What are you scared of?”
He raised his eyebrows at me like I should already know the answer. Maybe I did. Maybe, just maybe, I really did. “Well for one thing, I have to tell her how I feel.”
I could hear myself breathing, blinking, swallowing, so loudly that I was convinced he could hear it too. “You could always practise by telling me first?”
His eyes turned a different shade of blue as night fell, mimicking the colour of the sky. It was almost like he blended into nature, as pure and as beautiful as the world around him.
“Of course I am! Hit me,” I offered.
It’s a shame really, looking back on it, how literal he took that. Because less than a minute later my insides were hit by a very large, very heart-breaking bus.
“Her name is Lucy….”
The moment he said a name that wasn’t mine I fell through the gaps in the universe. I didn’t belong there anymore, not without him, not when he was my world and yet, to him, I was merely a grey cloud slipping through the afternoon.
How do you come back from that? When you’ve been running down a path that you are just so sure is leading somewhere brilliant only to find that it’s a cliff. An infinite drop awaits and there’s nobody there waiting to catch you. How do you climb back up when all you want to do is fall?
After twenty minutes of trying not to cry whilst he told me how right she made him feel, I made up an excuse and ran home. Ran, ran, ran and ran. Doors slammed and tears fell and suddenly night became day again and then all at once it was a whole week later. No word from him, no thought other than him. It was like looking at my home from the outside in. Watching it from the cold, wet, overshadowed garden, cast away from the warmth.
I heard they got together.
I heard that they were in love.
I heard that he said nobody understood him like she did.
And maybe she did. Maybe she loved the slight dip in his walk because of his injured knee. Maybe she loved the deep laugh that echoed through the air when he found something really really funny. Maybe she loved him even when he was angry, screaming at the top of his voice that he wasn’t good enough anymore (when really, he was everything).
Maybe she loved him with all of her heart.
But she never loved him with all of mine. And mine was full of more than just love. It was a collection of the moments we shared together, a combination of his tears and his smiles. It was every piece of pizza we shared, every line of a song that he got wrong, every accidental brush of our hands.
I had been saving it all up, watching over it until one day I could share it with him.
Because they tell you that it’s magical, when two hearts become one. They tell you that it’s worth the wait. They watch you get your hopes up, step by step until you’ve broken out into a full-blown run, heading straight towards somebody who decided not to wait for you. Somebody who had walked off and now belongs somewhere else.
I should’ve paid more attention to the footprints already in the snow, the broken leaves in front of me. Somebody got there first, beat me to it, and now I had nowhere left to go.
I guess what they don’t tell you is that falling in love with the wrong person sucks.
Wrong person, wrong time, wrong universe.
That should be the first thing they say.
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