Still

My god, you’re the one I still don’t know if I can forgive, the only one.

I still flinch when people touch my stomach and am reminded of how you punched me there.

I still remember you pressing my arm against a hot spoon or flicking a lighter over my wrist, I still don’t put burns under cold water, convinced that somehow I deserve it.

Bio oil got rid of those scars and marks on my skin but there are still many present in my mind.

Always thinking you could make up for it with a bouquet of 50 red roses, fancy dinners or taking me shopping. I thought those roses were terribly cliche even then but I wanted to love them so I did even though I will always prefer rainbow lillies. I still feel sick when I see a massive bouquet of red roses, they have never quite matched me, for they were meant for girls who believe in fairytales instead of creating their own and forgive anything because they’re too scared to stand alone.

But you’ve given me a voice as I rebel against everything you wanted me to be. I don’t take notice of negative comments of what I wear now, a lot of my friends are male, I go out and party and drink however much I want.

I speak up whenever I see injustice, when I argue with the men in my life now, I say what I have to say to them, I don’t stand there quietly and take it or sneak around them like I had to with you because you never let me do anything without your approval, I don’t even let them dictate how I get home. Although I still run, terrified that one day their hand may collide with my face just like yours used to. I don’t think I’ll ever feel safe in a room with an angry man but I’ve made peace with that and I remain thankful for the voice and feist that I have developed as a result of getting over you.

I really hope you’ve met someone who has tamed you, someone who could give you what I couldn’t: a family, a reason to buy a house and settle somewhere, to create something that isn’t as broken as where you came from. You had ambition and were always going to go a long way from that council estate your grandparents lived on yet that wasn’t enough, all you wanted was someone and something to call home. I hope you’ve learnt not to get jealous or manipulate because despite everything, I want to believe there was something good within you, that you weren’t a monster.

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