Sunday, 13 May 2018

Kryptonite



I'm usually a smart girl. I don't take risks I know won't be worth it, and I don't usually run my mouth before thinking about it first. I try not to give in to weaknesses, or lose focus on what is in front of me. 

I try not to believe in the promise of unpredictable new things.

Like I said, I'm usually a smart girl.

A year ago, I said I'd lost the fire inside when the flames started to wither. Then, I poured gasoline over my rage and struck a match to everything around me until it turned scarlet. I won the war, but not without sacrifice.

I was angry, then I was nothing.

I was indifferent, and okay with being that way.

Then, I saw him differently.

I mean, it was a little annoying. I was actually okay being by myself, and not experiencing those pesky, gushy things called feelings. Timing never did side with me, so I shouldn't be surprised.

I know the exact day that it changed, because that was the day Taylor Swift released Call It What You Want and now, that song will never remind me of anything other that night in November. This is how to tell if you've mattered to me, because I'll immortalise you with Taylor Swift.

I used to say I couldn't keep this particular fire alive by myself, I was scared it would die out if I was the only one to fuel it. I was expecting white heat to burn through the pieces of the past, and I thought I'd go up in smoke.

Instead, what I got was a slow, controlled burn and a consistent crackle that sparks up the dark in me when I start to doubt.

I talk a lot about the warmth that sticks on my skin when he's around. Once, I thought it was because of him that I became warm, but now I know he's the one I let feel it, because he saw it was there anyway. No one else brought it to my attention, and no one else wanted to see the good parts without reminding me of the bad.

I think the warmth is what gets us both, and I think that's our own Achilles heel. We're not defected by this, but we've each got a way of giving in to the glow of our kryptonite. We're careful not to touch it, afraid of its electricity.

He knows he's got me. In a sure, steady way, he knows I'm playing to win.

He knows if he texts me, it'll take me a matter of minutes to respond.

I don't do this whole 'playing it cool' thing.

There is absolutely nothing cool, calm or at all collected about me. I have no ability to conceal anything that I feel, which usually works well for other people.

I can be moody and intense, with super strength I've acquired from the pain I've endured. My tolerance is high, so I throw myself deep into things.

If anything reminds me that I'm not superhuman, it's this. If there's anything that makes me feel like I could be, it's someone who sees the better in me. It's someone who's stronger than they think.

He makes reading me look easy. Inspecting me, he looks over at me with a brief flash of green, tearing through me as if the pages are ones he knows too well.

Locks and latches unbolt, as my mouth starts moving at speed, and I annoy myself with how little I hold back from him. For someone who is so hellbent on letting no one see her, I can't stop the reveal.

Sat in front of him, I tell myself to shut up. I know I'm unraveling and I'm scared I won't be able to tie myself up again. I don't know what he would do with the loose ends.

I don't know what would happen if still waters rushed to floods, and I worry that waves will cause wreckage to something I'm trying to protect.

All I know is that chance brought me here, and natural forces play together so freely that it takes me by surprise.

He's grounded, composed and reticent, while I'm scared, chatty and acute. Stubbornness is still our safety net, but the rope is starting to weather. It saves us now from moments that could change us, but it won't survive for much longer.

My own stubbornness subsides, and I'm not afraid of him.

There's balance in our elements, and his cautious approach makes me careless in return. There was a change in the weather, and the shift in seasons made me forget the angry parts of me.

Out of all my weaknesses, mystery is the one that has me in its grip. The mystery drew me in, but it was everything else that kept me hunting for clues. It was the shyness, the secret smile and the way he sees the world through the glass of a lens.

While my other weaknesses include sharp wit, strong vocabularies, and boys with hair that's better than mine, the mystery was my downfall. It was a game I used to know, because in the end, the perfect crime was mine. They always came back, and I never had to chase. I mastered the game play, until I met my match.

He pulled me in, taking something broken without even realising it. Bad hearts and bad heads collided on common ground.

We were somewhere quiet by the water, fenced in by glass windows and white tables. It took me an hour to drink a latte, a consequence of being distracted by other things, and the thirst was quenched by chemicals instead.

He's apathetic by nature, but animated when he talks about the things on a screen. His hair covers his face, and when he pushes it back I can't help but notice his edges that he keeps so hidden. Sometimes he makes me nervous, turning me into a terrible driver but trusting me anyway.

He often comments that he thinks I'm sweet and without noticing, I've satisfied a sweet tooth for six months with sentences soaked in honey. I told him no one else had ever called me sweet, and he told me maybe everyone else was wrong, and he was right.

I'm someone who looks down at the floor a lot, avoiding the pins and needles of attraction. There's this prickle of nervousness that shows itself across my neck in different shades of pink, and my fear mutates into an urge more peculiar, and thoughts run loose.

They tell me to enjoy this feeling but the panic of the past gets the best of me, and I know they never stay. I get hesitant and insecure, but I know that I'm past the point of playing safe. I'm already in this.

I was thinking about this when he kicked a stone down the path, and everything felt easier than before. It didn't matter.

He can be forgetful and frustrating, but these things feed into chemicals that make me dizzy. I get distracted by this, because it's something good. It's something better, regardless of its conclusion.

I've been foolish in my pursuit, almost forgetting the stories in these four walls. This home has seen actual bloodshed, trauma and unhappy endings, but I'm acting like I'm brand new.

When this takes time, I don't panic. He didn't know he did it, but he stopped the ground from moving. The earth wasn't so unsteady anymore, and it wasn't like walking on unexplored territory because it was somehow familiar. It made me still and safe, despite how afraid I was of what calm could mean. I stayed that way, waiting for him to do it again.

Every time I try to run, I stop. I know that no matter what this is, it's important. I could try to fight it, but it's a battle I'll lose. I keep ending up here, so we may as well get comfortable with it.

He reached out to hug me, and I noticed this was the first time. Usually, I jump into a brief hug and run away before I can make a mess of things. The right side of his cheek was warm, and it was over quickly.

Someone told me, "You were smitten before you even knew you were smitten." I'll deny it, but no one's buying what I'm selling. I've never been a well equipped liar.

Two days ago, I was walking back to my car when the clouds ruptured. I knew the time because of the gold light falling across strangers as they waited under shelter, and I knew I needed to get home. I felt my phone pulse through my back pocket, and stopped walking.

Honestly, who even does that when a violent outpouring of rain threatens freshly straightened hair? Apparently, I do.

Like a cloudburst in May, I never saw him coming. Just like during the downpour, I stopped moving. I didn't care if it ruined me, but I knew it wouldn't. Let me remind you, I'm a smart girl. I don't take risks that don't pay off.