Claire.

Coffee. I’m sitting here drinking my morning cup, taking in the dark of my apartment while the sun peaks through the blinds. It’s Saturday morning and I’m up and functional before most, mind racing with thoughts of how things go wrong. In a city that never sleeps, I am wide awake.

Candles. Burning. The flicker of the flame makes the otherwise dark room glow. Air filled with scents of vanilla and smoke. I am calm.

You. Thoughts of how you treated me, affectionate one moment and distant the next. Gone in the blink of an eye. How do people do that? Disappear without warning or notice? This is not the first time, I am sure it won’t be the last. To have so little respect or concern for a person you spent hours pouring your heart out to, what made this so bad?

Me. I beat myself up. What did I do, what is wrong with me? Why am I so hard to love? Maybe I was not your cup of coffee. Maybe the connection was one sided. But still, you said you missed my voice. Said you wanted more. Then you were gone faster then you came. And maybe I was not your cup of coffee, but I am one damn good cup.

Patriot.

I can’t put together words.

You’ve been the subject of my thoughts every minute for a week But when it comes to putting this experience on paper I’m lost.

Lost the way we both are.

Living day to day without the fire.

We met by accident.

Both tangled by the intricacies of our own lives.

This is something we probably should not do.

But for some reason, you invigorate me.

I feel excited again, happy, I walk with a bounce.

Sometimes doing the wrong thing is still the right thing And I think the right thing is leading me to you.

Jet.

“You’re so dark” she shrieks from across the room. It’s not that I’m dark, I just think if I read one more college essay about a dead grandparent, I will pull out all of my hair. And hair, thats my tell. My mental stability has a direct correlation with the frequency I change it. Long, short, blonde, brown, black….If I can’t settle on a hairstyle how can I be expected to have my life figured out?

But back to dead grandparents, because thats why we’re here right? I’ve lost three of mine. It isn’t that it didn’t effect me, losing people is hard. But I’ve understood from the time I was young that people are temporary. I joke that I have daddy issues but the truth is I had the most wonderful father. I just didn’t know him long. When someone so pivotal in your development dies when you’re 7, something funny happens. You understand, but not really. You cry. You get on with life. You laugh, you play. You miss them but at a certain point you don’t know what you’re missing. Day to day, things seem fine. But it cuts deeper, your connections with people are warped. You live in this state of fear that everyone is going to leave. Maybe not die, I don’t think everyone is going to die, well they are, but not right now. The issue is more of a lack of trust. A paranoia that something will go wrong, something that will prevent you from speaking to this person that you care so deeply for. Friends, family, significant others, I can’t let go.

So I latch. I hold on to every person I care about. I’ve had the same best friend since I was 2 years old. I cling to the people I love, and I don’t know when to quit. I’ve never been able to decide the end of a relationship. Any time I have cared for someone, as toxic as it may be, I hold on. Because even the most toxic situation still means that the door isn’t closing. If I want to hear your voice, all I need to do is call. So things get toxic to the point that relationships are destroyed. I’m not talking about cheating here, I’m good at following rules, I need rules. The type of toxic is always different, like snowflakes. It is never the same. Sometimes it becomes a jealous mess, other times a petty contest of chicken, who is going to budge first. I am stubborn. I am cold. I talk too much. I am the most understanding person you will ever meet, but I am also the most paranoid. I look for every sign that someone is letting go.

So I get passive aggressive, or just aggressive. I never hold a grudge but I demand explanations. I fight ferociously for the people I care about. I am loyal no matter how much it makes me ache. My daddy issues are different you see, because no one walked out on me. But he was gone none the less, leaving his wife with 3 small girls. She raised three young girls with so much heart. We all have our baggage right?