I love you. He said casually as his fists reacted differently, my mother packed us up and took us away from him. I don’t think he ever left us though, she drowned herself in a bottle of bourbon so she wouldn’t have nightmares and the touch of men made her flinch. She thinks she healed when she found someone new to say “I love you” but I can see her ribs are still torn apart, held together with fragile hope.
I love you. He said only moments before he forced himself inside her and took the one thing she had been keeping safe. She knew that wasn’t love, people that love you don’t need to steal things from you in the dead of night, leaving bruises along your skin and a crater in your heart. She was never the same but she put on a good show, making sure no one would never know.
I love you. He said before he text my best friends sister, asking her for sex. How many girls came before the one that was closest to her? I remember holding her hair back as she threw up from crying so hard that every muscle in her body shook and caved in.
I love you. You said to me only days before you left. I can’t love you. You said to me the last time we spoke, telling me I was too much for you, my baggage too heavy, my darkness too deep for you to navigate.
I love you. Please don’t say the words, if your actions will just break our hearts.