You won’t get along with everyone. At some point in you’re life, you’re bound to meet people who you just can’t get along with. They’re annoying, hateful, or petty. They’re coworkers or peers: inescapable. You act civil in public, but avoid them where you can.
Other times, you meet people who are pure poison. But you have to let them in before they can ruin you, so you’re swooned by new friendship, new love. Best friends, lovers, thinking you know a side of them others don’t. Outsiders just don’t understand their little nuances. The way they don’t actually mean it when they swear at you. It truly is an accident when they’re a bit too rough in bed. They don’t like your family and friends; can’t see why you want them around, can’t fathom why they are not enough for you. When they steal or destroy your belongings in rage, it’s just a testament to how much they treasure you, that you can affect them so violently. They grab your arm hard enough to leave bruises because they feel they can’t ever let you go.
You used to be close, but now they’re sludge in your veins, the wrinkle of your nose, the unadulterated repulsive feeling you get when thinking of them.
But the thing about poison is it only hurts when it’s inside you. The longer you allow them access to your heart, the more the wound festers. Make the cut. Flush them out with good intention and a strong appreciation for your own well-being. Dilute the initial pain with real friends, family, support, and all the things they never allow you to have in your life. Inoculate yourself against future attacks by letting them go.
Years later, you’ll run into them again. Whether you lock eyes across the shopping mall or see them pop up on social media, you will see them. People like that never really go away, just like poison still gives you shivers long after you’ve healed. You feel your blood boil. Your heartbeat speeds up. It’s a feeing you think you can’t let go of, because no matter the pain of holding in this hatred, it’s nothing compared to what they put you through. If you let go, you’ll forget and if you forget, you might let them in again.
They raise their hand in greeting and you still flinch after all this time.