Tender Me. Not.
As my lips are tendered by the lavish service of yours, I think back on the night we first met. A party, the first of many we would go to. While everyone is dressed in skin-tight dresses, accentuating every line of their body, there you are. Standing in baggy camo pants and a Guns N’ Roses hoodie too large for your petite figure.
We meet eyes and look away. I move towards you; you grin and step back, vanishing into the swarm of people dancing. I push through the crowd; I find you. Smiling, you grab my arm and we go out. You hold my hand and I hold yours, the only source of warmth at 1 am. I walk you back home, to the very door of your house. I ask for your name; you ask for my number. We both say good night.
As my eyes are tendered by the beautiful face that lies on my lap, I think back on our picnic, if a bag of gummy worms and orange juice counts as one. You lay upon my lap, playing with the freshly grazed grass. I gaze upon your glowing face, the sun’s rays blessing every feature of it. You catch me looking at you; you grab my cheeks and laugh. A joyous laugh, like one of a newborn baby.
You ask me what my favorite temperature of water is; I laugh and say I don’t know. You pout, saying that I never have an opinion. You say your favorite temperature of water is room temperature because its reliable; the temperature won’t change from hot to cold or cold to hot. I shrug and pull you closer towards me, breathing in your deep, sweet scent into my soul. The bell tower strikes 3 pm, and I take you to class. We hug; we part.
As my body is tendered by the drunk girl that hugs my sober self, I think back on our spontaneous road trip. Driving in the front seat of a car with our hands holding, you lean on my shoulders. I squeeze your soft hands. We arrive and step out.
You start shivering; you ask for my hoodie. We hold hands and watch the kindling sunset, which seemed to magically wait just for our arrival. We take pictures and go home. I make the picture of us the cover photo on my phone. I go to bed, look at the pictures, smile, and sleep.
As my heart is tendered by the girl that stands in front of me, I think back when it all went wrong. Something changed, too indinstictively for me to notice. No longer do I feel like you’re mine. No longer do I feel like I’m yours.
No longer do I take you to class, no longer do you ask. The hoodies and pajamas you borrowed from me, you return them all. The perfume, makeup, and clothes you stored in my room, they disappear. Confused, I ask to talk with you.
We meet in our favorite burger place. I ask how you’ve been, how did that psych test go. You nod and say it went well. You sigh; I breathe it in and spit it right back.
In the silence of the moment, I break it. And with the broken silence, I break your heart. Your eyes brim with tears; you ask what I liked about you. I say I like the way your dimples curve in, the white tinge in your blonde hair, the emerald shine of your eyes.
You ask if I still like you. I stay silent. You ask when I started feeling like this. I stay silent. You ask why I was so care-free all the time. Why I never expressed my feelings. Why I never told you that I was hurt. Why I’m so silent. But I wasn’t. You just didn’t bother to notice.
I scream a silent scream.
Everytime your hands reached for the needle, your eyes glazing back into your forehead, your breathing becoming hoarse and heavy, I screamed a silent scream.
Everytime you popped rainbows into your mouth, smiling and telling me it was okay, I screamed a silent scream.
Despite all that, I still felt tendered by you and your soft lips, rosy cheeks, baby hands. So as I allow myself to be once more tendered by the memories we made together, I tell you that my favorite temperature of water is cold. Icy cold.
Tender me not for I will scream a silent scream.
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