A Love Manual for my Ex-Boyfriend
Post Sender: Please see enclosed letter for instructions on the boyfriend I am returning. He didn't come with a love manual so please understand the pain-staking work that went in to this.
Post-post Sender: Please also note that this was an ongoing project until recently.
My ex-boyfriend didn't come with a love manual. He came with a credit card that has his name on it, attached to his parents bank account, and long blonde hair. He came with soft eyes and rolling bags that he unpacked neatly all over town. Occasionally I see some of his dirty laundry when I'm on my way to work, but my heart doesn't hurt anymore.
For his convenience, pack yourself neatly into that rolling bag once it's empty, but don't hope for much because he won't hold on as tightly as when his own things were inside. And he'll try to make you "his thing," while trailing you on a lease ten steps behind. You'll love it. You'll love being the period at the end of his sentence and the foot note of his life. Regardless of your own experiences and self-love, you'll always be second.
Second to someone, though, is first to him - except you won't be. You'll be fourth or maybe fifth, behind his mother, his brothers, his fraternity brothers, his new xbox, and his phone.
Cater to his whims though, because they'll make him smile and God that smile will drive you until it drives you right off a cliff.
I called myself a box person once, because I wrapped myself in pretty pink paper held together by ribbons and crooked staples that reminded me of the picture that hung from our wall in the first place we lived together. His temper got the best of him in those days and I stopped adjusting the frame.
Because of that temper he learned to breathe deeply instead of rush in like a waterfall. So he'll pause for you like he never did for me because my words weren't precious until I was telling the world just how broken he truly was.
And I held him together with bear glue that turned to sand and slipped through my fingers until it was my problems that needs to be suffocated but there was no courage to be mustered from his side.
So you'll fight the good fight to shape a boy into a man, just remember not to lose who you are in the end.
Hanover County, VA
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