Maia Stone
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From the Perspective of the Girl Who Broke My Heart

She took every step out of the house

As a public declaration of something that didn't exist.

Every door a closet to emerge from.

What was simple to me was revelation to her.

I watched her mistake sex

For love

Every time we had it.

She twisted every introduction

Into a sign of intimacy.

I didn't know how to stop her from spiraling

So I didn't.

It couldn't be my job to ground her.

If she wanted to float

Despite my honesty

What could I do but let her?

When she touched me

Her fingers spread

As if she was trying to hold all of me at once,

Trying to make her hands

Span the width of my back.

Trying to make her love

Span the width of a lifetime.

I asked her to stop straining.

I repeated my intentions like a mantra

Each time I saw her

But it seems she never heard me.

I felt her slipping into love without me.

I told her I would never follow.

How much clearer could I have been?

When I decided to move, I didn't tell her.

She came over

For what would be the last time,

Saw the boxes and bare walls,

And asked in as measured a voice as she could,

Where I was going.

I told her Texas and watched her break

And pretend to be whole 

In the same moment.

An hour drive became 20,

Became an impossibility.

She never cried in front of me

But I saw how easily she could have.

Maybe I should have let her

And pretended to love her too,

Pretended that if it weren't for the distance

I would be hers.

I didn't think of that in the moment.


I offered her a drink

And asked if she wanted to play pool.

She didn't.

She watched while my brother and I played.

She drank

And drifted

And spiraled

And I pretended not to see.

My brother went to bed

And we held each other,

Her fingers spread as wide as she could stretch them.

She pressed her lips into my cheek

And neck

And lips

As if trying to forge a memory of herself that would last.

I lied to her

About when I was leaving

And made plans to see her again for her birthday

But I would be long gone by then.

I had to replace the sadness in her eyes with hope.

I couldn't stand to feel guilty

When I took her to bed.

And why should I

When I told her that was all I wanted?

Her fragility was unfair

To the both of us.

She pretended to be ready for me

And I pretended to believe she was.

Now she is broken

And I am gone

And I don't know who to blame.