It was early hours of Christmas Day, dark, cold and damp out there with you. Your eyes pierced mine as your rough hands cupped my face gently. I remember the neighbours were awake and I knew they could see us. Part of me wondered if they would tell, but the thought was fleeting. In that moment, I didn’t care, I had no time for anyone or anything but you. I remember the warmth of your lips upon mine and I wanted to stay in that moment forever. I adored you.
When it was time for me to go, I stepped a few paces away before turning to watch you leave and I still remember the thrill of realising you hadn’t moved. You were still there, watching me go. As my eyes once again met yours, you gripped your chest with one hand and pointed to me with the other; a gesture of love that always weakened my knees.
Whenever I was disturbed by those other nights of terror, those moments were my cherished memories, my hope, my explanation, my escape, my safety net. And now they’ve gone I realise how much I needed them, how much they meant, how much hidden truth they contained. Now I remember before as well as after, now I know you didn’t love me and now I know my most treasured memories of you were never real and it hurts more than I could have imagined.
Lately, I’ve been haunted by those many nights I met you while everyone else slept. I remember how damp, how cold and how windy it always seemed to be and oh how I remember your lips on mine and your arms around me. Right now, it seems, I cannot open the door without being blasted by such similar weather and those haunting memories of you. I don’t know whether to feel trauma or pain. I’m reminded of what you did but also of those many nights you walked me home.
I’m left feeling like I’ve lost the only good memories I had of you and I’m left feeling a loss I do not want to comprehend. I am used to feeling terror, I am used to feeling horror. I am getting used to battling the reality of what you did, but loss? Grief over you? Over what I thought we had, over what was never, ever true, or right, or even real? I am ashamed of that. I feel conflicted with hatred and hurt over you. I’m ashamed that I mourn you and who I thought you were.
I hurt for my teenage self, for all the broken promises, for the heart that swelled with love, that you shattered into pieces.
And I hate you for that, for hurting an innocent child, who did nothing but love you with everything she had, who was fiercely loyal to you no matter what you did. Everything you inflicted, every insult, every rape, every bit of pain that knocked her down, she always stood right back up and trusted that the end would come, that she could fix you, that the good in you would one day shine again. So innocent, so full of hope, so full of trust and so full of love.
I hate you for what you did to her, to me and to us.
I am so full of anger, so full of hate and so very deeply ashamed of it all right now.