THIS IS A STORY ABOUT NICOLAS
Nicolas leaves his teeth at school, brings broken bones home to hide behind his pillow cases. Nicolas, nine years old, is an awkward mess of a kid, all drop-kicked dreams and telephone wires. Nicolas was never good at this. He drinks loneliness and spits up the pieces, he cries like it’s the only home he knows. Nicolas is a survivor, but barely — Nicolas thinks about bridges and uses school pictures as target practice.
Nicolas, I’m sorry. I want to tell you that it will get better, that one day the scars will heal. I want to tell you about the ways I used to split my shins just to stay in bed because school was a cesspool of all the things I couldn’t be. I want to tell you about the nightmares. I want to tell you that I love you like people love their regrets, love the ones that they can’t save. I want to tell you that you’re my hero, but you, with your eyes all bruised, don’t speak my language. You speak the sprained wrist kind of tongue, you speak with your hands turned to fists. I don’t know if anyone ever taught you to love poetry, but I am a stranger turning over the pages of your solitude with all my words gone wrong. Nicolas, you do not have to be a memorial to the ones who got away. It’s kids like us that end up cross-stitched into graveyards, but I’m trying to tell you that breathing was never about being empty. The air has fallen in love with your lungs, Nicolas, that’s all you need to know. You will love like that too, one day, I swear.
When I was a kid, I wore my father’s jeans and got into playground fights. I hope you understand that I was never good at this either, that I kept my knuckles ready for the girls that wore their mascara like battle armor. I hope you understand that I used to talk like you, chipped-tooth, broken-kneed. I hope you understand that I have since forgotten the language of bruises, of the scars that kids can give when they forget how to love gently, when they learn words like fat and stupid, when they find the lonely ones like you and me, the ones that keep their heads down because nobody told us we were beautiful, nobody told us that we were just awkward acrobats still learning to use our legs, nobody told us it was okay to fall once in a while, as long as we always got back up. I hope you understand that this is me telling you that you are beautiful, and you will forget this language too one day, I promise. I hope you understand that this is me telling you to get back up. I hope you get back up.
Nicolas, you are nine years old, and a warrior down to your toes. Every morning, it is the armor and nails, every evening, it is the battle wounds.
Nicolas leaves his teeth at school.
Nicolas leaves his heart at home.
Nicolas loves like broken bottles.
Nicolas leaves —
Nicolas never comes back.
I hope you fall in love with a man with good music taste and a jawline stronger than your wifi connection
i want to kiss you and take cute pictures with you and go on stupid dates but I also want kill you for making me feel things
what if you tried to call off of work and you are just like “im sick today” and your boss was like “i know dude you’re one of the sickest bros here” and you were like “no i mean it im ill” and your boss says “yeah you the illest”