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This is nothing new for her, hunching over a book, clutching a cup of coffee, trying to make herself as small as possible so passerby’s won’t ask her any questions. The stress pulsing through her veins making her hands shake as she tried to concentrate and drown out the voices gnawing at the back of her mind.

 

This isn’t the first time my legs have met this tile, cold and shivering and sweaty and bare. Vulnerable. This isn’t the first time there has been blood on my fingers, my tears burning the wounds. My knuckles bruising and breaking as I hit…thrash…punch. How could you do that to yourself again. You’re so stupid. You’re worthless. You’re never going to beat this. Fuck. This isn’t the first time I have fallen to my knees and cried.

 

This is not the first time I have been up this late, ringing in a new day with thoughts of destruction flittering behind my eyelids. This is not the first time I have gotten angry about the loves in your past. This is not the first time I have told myself I will be the first to stay and prove to you that someone will love you for more than what is in your wallet or what is in your pants. I love you for what is behind your eyes when you sleep. I love you for how you let me touch your cheek. I love you because you are everything I have ever dreamed of and I did not even know that until I got the chance to touch that cheek. Until I got the chance to see that there is so much more than the wallet and the pants. I can live without money and sex. But, I don’t think I can live without your heart beat and slow, soft breaths lulling me to sleep. Your hand on my waist. Your feet tangled in mine. Your heart in my hands. Mine in yours.

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