A letter to the girl who loved a monster
You are both so brave and so foolish
It may be years since you two last spoke, yet your hands drift over the keyboard and write his name into the search bar on social media. You notice he changed his profile picture from the last time you looked at it. New shirts that he didn’t own when you two were together pop up in his pictures now. He still wears the one band t-shirt you bought him. You tell yourself you don’t care but still wish you could rip it up with your bare hands.
He deleted you after you stopped dating. You wonder if it’s because you leaving actually hurt, or if he was afraid that being connected in any way to you that could mean you might finally tell someone of importance what he did. He doesn’t realize that you knew when it happened no one would listen to what you said.He still has your father on Facebook. He knows you couldn’t tell him what he did to you. The words brave or foolish plague you years later.
The only relief you get from this is realizing you do not love him any more. Not like you loved the first boy you dated or even the boy you kissed a few times and then ran away from because his hands felt too much like his in your own. You thank your hormones for this one smart move, while still chastising yourself for pulling up his page in the first place. We can’t make good decisions all the time.
He doesn’t post often, he was never one for social media. You look anyways though. You don’t know what you’re looking for, wishful thinking has you scrolling for a confession perhaps. You know he would never do that but it feels so good to think about that being the case. For him to tell the world what he did, instead of just admitting it to you, while blaming you for it simultaneously. With him you learned what gaslighting really was. Learned what it meant to burn because of it. You know he would still tell his friends that you’re just an out of control pyro when you show them the burn marks. They would wonder why even when you’re gone and they are laughing together again, why he still smells of gasoline.
You keep scrolling. You realize what you’re really looking for. The next girl to share his profile picture. Not out of jealousy, but out of fear. You wonder about what you will do the next time a girl you may or may not know appears in a picture with him. You hope your hands will find her page, her messenger. You hope you’ll have the courage to tell her everything. To warn her. To offer your support.
You guess this won’t be the case. Brave or foolish runs through your head again. You know you will stare at her picture, the smile or the puckered lips on his cheek and your breath will catch in terror.
That picture will become your own personal horror movie. It might not have happened yet, but you still worry for that day. Your hands tremble, almost dropping your phone over the thought of another person having to play his game. In the back of your head, you know you won’t reach out. You can’t reach out. No one helps the poor girl in monster movies. The screams from behind the screen will not be heard. No one was able to help you.
You wish someone did, you wish someone would have ripped you from the black and white light dancing on that curtain and told you to run. You will realize then you are both brave and foolish. You realize the next girl will be too, but hope she defeats the monster and gets out unscathed.
You start to wonder if you’re looking at a phone or a projector screen. You will back out of his page and realize it’s both.