by Fransivan MacKenzie

Dear You,

You felt so unworthy of anything good that you took anything you could get and called it enough. You never asked for more because you were taught as a child that you were lucky to have anything at all. Be good, they said. Be kind. Say thank you and be grateful for any crumb of acceptance. You were trained to be happy when people applauded you for a golden heart. But your kindness was never your virtue, was it? You simply didn’t know any other way to live. You thought that the only way to love was to give and give and give, and if anything comes back at all, consider yourself lucky.

So, when that boy told you he loved you, you believed him. You wrote a poem out of his confession. Through words, you weaved the two of you under the night sky, promising each other forever, holding each other’s hands as though your lives depended on it. When he bought you glazed donuts and a cup of Mochaccino a day after Valentine’s, you felt as though you were in a movie. When he made you a flower crown out of the roses he plucked from his neighbor’s yard, you felt like a princess. When he began picking you up from school every once in a while, you imagined that this must be how home feels like. When he held you for the first time in the middle of a footbridge, you thought you were so full of love you would combust. You remember feeling so lucky. And you held on to that.

You held on to that feeling even when you realized the man he wanted you to love was a facade. When he stopped returning your calls and then showed up to apologize months later, you fooled yourself into believing he just made a mistake. When he met your pain with his silence a night before your major exams, you told yourself it was just bad timing. When he didn’t fight for you, you blamed yourself for not being worth the war you wanted him to wage. When he asked to go out with you again and then stood you up twice, you convinced your grieving heart that something important must have come up, so he didn’t make it. When he lied to your face and laughed at your naivety, you told yourself it was because he’s just a boy. It was never his fault he couldn’t love you the way you wanted to be loved.

Can I tell you a secret? You deserve better, darling. You deserve so much more from the world that made you believe crumbs were all you’re fit for. And you could demand however you want from this boy who gets himself high on your broken pieces, but darling, he doesn’t have anything better to give. It is not too late to undo this disguise of a good girl by betraying yourself over and over, and for what? It is not too late to learn.

Hold your head up, princess. Stand tall. Walk away.


You, Just Wiser

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