I chose you on purpose. Despite everything or maybe despite nothing. It was my own self that stood in my way. It was my own self that chose to exclaim love in tattered notebooks laid on my floor and in a book you would never read. Instead of saying it to your face, instead of screaming it against bedroom walls. Instead of texting you that I was thinking of you. That I wanted you here, next to me, as long as you chose to be.

Because I was scared you wouldn’t choose to be.

but see, I wanted you in ways you couldn’t comprehend. how could you, when I couldn’t. shouldn’t. wouldn’t. didn’t. until I did. but I was scared of the type of lies you told. you didn’t lie normal. but you’d leave out what you thought my pretty little head shouldn’t be concerned with.

but see, I chose you on purpose. And I was so sure that I would lose. girls like me, I’d told God, don’t get happy endings. too kind. too gentle. too nurturing one moment. too hard. too critical. too mad the next.

loving you, I thought, would leave me lonely. how afraid I was of the thing I was chasing. how my hands shook when I held my phone, how my breathing hitched at your tone.

I was so afraid you wouldn’t stay I hadn’t noticed all this time you hadn’t left.

You’d told me you felt safe here and I never really understood that people stay where they feel safe. And maybe love scared you, but you were opening up to it.

but see, I need you to choose me on purpose.

not accidentally, not as the girl who builds you up after the world has knocked you down. not as the secret hiding spot you discovered as a kid and now you venture back to only when life has left you breathless. not as an aftertaste. not as an indulgence.

I need us to choose each other on purpose.

z.



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