You wear many different faces, Heart Breaker. Some days I see you, and you are wearing the crooked grin and guitar-roughed hands of the boy I went to prom with. Other days you are clothed in tight curls and a button nose with hands that spent every class session doodling in the margins of your papers.
Most recently you have been dressed in bleach-splattered denim and a ripped up hoodie, in white-streaked hair and worn hi-tops. You’ve been adorned by cigarette ashes and curses that tumble from your lips and strike the ground in hot white flashes of heat.
I used to know you, Heart Breaker, but now I’m not so certain. I’ve always known you to be a little like a chameleon, adapting to fit in with the people surrounding you, but you’ve changed so much that I hardly recognize you. Your voice used to be steady, and now it hits peaks that I didn’t realize you could climb to.
The last few months have been a delicate dance of avoidance. Seeing you hurts. It makes my chest tight and my breath come faster. It fills my throat with words that I can’t seem to say and my eyes full of tears that I can’t seem to shed.
And then there has been you, with your sharp sarcasm, with comments said because you knew they were comments that would upset me. Things that genuinely hurt and offend.
You say you want things to go back to the way they were. That you hope, someday, we can stitch up this torn friendship of ours with threads made of knowing and of wanting. Threads of knowing what happened before, and of wanting to know what we might have missed.
Your words were pretty, all black and neat with white between every sentence, spacing things out, making it look large and serious and important.
Mostly, though, it was empty.
I don’t trust you, my dearest one. I don’t trust your flattery or your praise; I don’t trust your inquiries about my health, my grades, my family, my life. I don’t trust that you mean well, I don’t trust that you mean anything at all.
That is the worst part of this situation: you were once my best friend, and now you are not anything that can be named. The years we’ve spent calling each other at 3 AM to rant about our latest read or how mind-blown we are by the latest plot twist in our favorite shows, the road trips we would embark upon, the times you would force me to listen to your gosh-awful music (and I would, without complaint, because . . . ), the secrets spilt under string lights, the picnics in the sunshine, the adventures –
You are a boy who now serves me coffee, a boy I once loved.