Sometimes in my dreams you are heavy weight, hands that grip-not-too-tightly but don't let go, words that tease, taunt, torment. Often, in my thoughts, my 'fake,' crescent moon memories, so fragmented by nature, trauma and time, you are soft as silk, warm as winter, kind as compression. Often, when he lays beside me, after knock, knock, knocking once, twice, thrice, too many times; when he blurs the line of friendship not with wandering hands but arms that curl around me, a fully clothed body under covers I have not given him permission to enter. His head nuzzles me like a cat craving attention, and I swallow down revulsion as though inhaling tainted oxygen. And I wonder; did I repulse you too? When my hands never failed to fumble during your favourite pastime, when the outfits you asked for were met with less skin than you craved, when movements were met with moans; did you shiver internally as though something thick and slimy had curled into your stomach? Did you resist the urge to glance at time, or prayed that it moved quicker? Were your footsteps heavy at the thought of our bodies colliding? Melding together; a lovesick girl and a careless boy. Did you shower in a spray of steam and heat intense enough to burn the skin, afterwards? When my name left your lips, did it feel more like a curse you could not lift? I wonder, awake, at night when I can't sleep, during days that bleed together. If I was to you what he is to me; a side effect I cannot shift. A bitter pill I am forced to swallow, a nuisance that demands, begs, pleads, insists; because I know for certain that once, I demanded, begged, pleaded, insisted too much, far too much, and for that I am sorry. So I wonder, if I had released you sooner would you have slunk away unchanged, still soft as silk, warm as sunlight, kind as compassionā€¦

But then I remember, the way you, yourself, demanded; that I leave you like the tide, to return upon your call. Begged; for clothes short enough to cover only slips of skin. Pleaded: to be entertained by photos, pleasurable positions that could satisfy you, videos capturing the moments you missed. Insisted: that my body was a sacred right I could not deny you. I remember the way our bodies melted together, liquified, like freshly fallen snow atop the quivering heat of a volcano; cold as ice, until we scorched ourselves. I remember you, strumming me as easily as the silver strings of your guitar, me, wrapping myself around you as though you were the cosiest of comforts. Something, someone, safe and secure, loving and lustful. Beautiful yet broken. I remember brown eyes that set me alight with passion, a body hidden by a shirt whilst I offered my own to the ground as a sacrifice. Words that fell from your lips; dynamite dressed as a daydream, toxicity disguised as truth. A chorus of 'I love you's' always dangling precariously from the tip of my tongue, as heavy moans and groans rushed out of your mouth so carelessly. I craved tenderness and connection, you desired pleasure and plaything; meek mouse and cruel cat intertwined, impossible to part, until the cracks began to widen, as the shadow selves we hid became drenched in light; our sins almost indistinguishable from one another. For I, a silver tongued girl, could never be trusted with the hopeless romantic of a heart I thought I'd found in you. Watch me even now romanticize our tale of tumultuous trauma, glorify the gory details of a power play dynamic soaked in uncertainty, laced with the poisons we poured into one another. Whilst you, lustful Lucifer, Christian claimer, sit in the circle of your sins and wash away the consequences by pointing fingers, placing blame. Denial tastes so bitter when you wash it down with shame. Have you ever felt ashamed? Did you ever once question it, your flawed logic? The one that seeped into me and stained my already hollow bones a bruising black. Have you cried an ocean of salty tears in an effort to cleanse yourself? I have. But I could never soak the stain clean. Even now, with the anniversary treading ever closer, with time, distance and miles between us, I am haunted by the thoughts of you. The miserable memories of a man who refused to accept that refusal was an option. That a body is not a borrowed thing you can give back once you are done with it. I shrink back, curl ever deeper into the too thin quilt as the fuzzy wisps of trauma come hurtling back in small snapshots; hands that hold when I want them to release, skin not bruised but bare, heavy weight, oxygen almost tainted, hard to breathe, stop, I don't want this stop stop stop stop-

"Trust me / You're in control."

I thought I was, onceā€¦