There’s something strangling me tonight.

A feeling, something that started in my stomach as a tightness and moved up to my lungs. I can hardly draw a breath, I can’t seem to be able to get it deep enough into my lungs. My heart hurts. Physically hurts, not just some metaphorical ghost pain. Like there’s a tiny needle right there, pricking it every now and then just to remind me that it hasn’t been beating the same way lately. I’m suffocating. This silence is suffocating me. The words are stuck right there in my throat, just inches from my lips and I can’t keep them in any longer.

I won’t tell you. Not now, not ever.
I won’t let the words leave my mouth and they will never reach your ears uttered in my voice.
You’ll never hear any of this from my lips.

I’m not yet free of you. So let me get this off my chest, let me just write it all down. They know; and you should too. So, let me put it out there. Scripta manent.

Ultimately, now that all’s said and done, I wish I had told no one. I’m inexcusable. Because I should have known better. People ruin things. It’s just their nature, they’re not to blame for it. Not completely anyway. It’s not something I didn’t know. But I didn’t practice what I preach this time. And it cost me more than I expected. It could have cost me my dignity, my reputation, my pride; I wouldn’t have given a sideways fuck about any of that. I would have had you and I would have been happy. Instead, it cost me you.

I wish that it was just ours. I wish that those emotions, those feelings had been kept locked away inside me, for me to cherish as they were, instead of letting them being tainted by others’ opinions. The aftertaste still would have been bittersweet, but I’d be able to look back on it and smile with no regrets. I regret telling anyone, I regret letting them ruin the only thing I had, in a long time, that was worth smiling about.

There is no emotion more worthless than regret. It serves no purpose, nothing of consequence can come from it because it is felt, by definition, when it’s too late to do anything more. I know, and though I regret very few things I’ve done in my life (it’s not arrogance, it’s confidence) I do regret going against my nature. I regret trying to be someone I’m not, trying to act in a way that is completely foreign to me, just for the sake of “doing something differently and hoping for a different outcome”.

People ruin beautiful things. Because they can’t understand them, because they don’t suit them, their own beliefs, their own experiences, or the thought of this so unique and exceptional “thing” doesn’t fit in their minds. The mere existence of such things offends them. The idea that there might just be something out there, better than anything they have ever lived, more pure and real than anything they have ever felt, insults them.

So they take it apart, trying to understand it, trying to prove that it is less than perfect, so much less than the way you see it, searching to point out the flaws — flaws that may very well exist but that only make it more extrordinary. They rip the smile off your face, take the emotions and feelings you’re floating on, pull them down to earth, down to where they can see them, turn them around in their hands, twist them and pull them apart leaving only rubble and shreds when they’re done. And they took you, and the memories I so loved, and turned them all to shit.

There were those who took you, tore you down from that pedestal I had you on, ripped your image to something no one would want to look at, dragged it through the mud and hung you, and all your secrets, out to dry, right there in front of me. You, and all we had shared, fallen from grace, on the ground, put there by people you called, and still call, your own.

It was as fragile as crystal, and when it hit the ground it shattered to a million tiny pieces and scattered all over the place. And I’m left here, sitting on the floor, surrounded by it all, trying to mend whatever fragments are left, trying to put something back together to be able to keep, something left to hide away and never let out. I’m sitting here, looking at my image, seeing what you would if you looked at me now. My reflection through the shards of broken glass, my face, my eyes, me after they were done with it all. All that’s left.

It wasn’t enough to scare me. I’ve seen my fair share of monsters. You’re not one of them. You’re just a boy. A child, terrified of his own shadow, reluctant to step out into the light, scared of anything he can’t understand. You’re used to the dark, you’ve come to like it there. I know, because I like it just as much. They never understood any of it; not you, not me, not us.

It may have been nothing for you. It may have been too much. I don’t know. For all purposes it was nothing. And if I were to tell anyone, describe the whole thing, from beginning to end, that’s what they’d say. Wait a minute. That’s what they have said.

It was nothing more than a puff of smoke, a gust of wind and, even though it was winter when we met, a midsummer’s night dream that came to life when the night doesn’t last long enough to create anything sturdy enough to withstand dawn.
It was nothing.
Or so they told me.
Or so people said.

So that’s what I’ll end this with. I’ve said it all. It’s all out there, in the wind. Because it’s done, it’s gone. It has been for a long time. It was the moment I let it leave my lips the first time. So this is its coup de grâce.

But don’t tell anyone that this is for you. I won’t either.
People ruin beautiful things.

Author: Nikoletta Vasilopoulou

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