You flirted with my younger sister,
I guess as a way of reminding me
there was no way
you could ever fall
for a disabled girl.
Deep down I knew that.
I had been taught to believe
romance was something reserved
for the able-bodied,
and so, even though
I was in love with you,
I never said anything,
never expected anything.
I simply loved you
in my poems
and in my diaries
–silent witnesses to the torture
of loving alone,
but that’s just the way
things used to be
for girls like me.
We were just expected to exist
and live sexless, loveless lives,
empty of romance…
empty of dreams.
I had been taught all this
and still, I secretly and quietly hoped
others were wrong.
I chose to embrace hope,
and in subtle ways, I started flirting…
a sexy smile here and there,
a wink, a hint of the normality
that wanted to burst free
from the stereotypes and the lies
that chained me.
I took a chance
by flirting with you.
I took a chance, I guess,
because I expected rejection
and although you had been flirting
with my sister,
you suddenly also started flirting
We were raised
in a strict household.
We were supposed to do nothing
without permission, and it really was a miracle
that a tall and handsome boy like you
was allowed to hang out with us.
Looking back I realize
you were probably not seen as a threat
because my sisters
were “too young” and I, well….
who could possibly be interested
So you were considered “safe”
and you were always around
after school and on weekends.
You became a happy part of our days,
a happy memory.
That’s how I chose to remember you
although I think you also know
that’s not how the story ends.
I’m not sure why you did it….or
what possessed you
to do what you did to me….to lie
as if my feelings didn’t matter.
I didn’t think of you
and I suppose I must have
buried the pain,
the memory of that day
when you came to me and said you loved me
and how you wanted
to talk to my mom
asking her for permission
for me to be to be your girl.
When I looked into your eyes,
I didn’t see your lies
maybe because I so desperately wanted
to believe you.
I so desperately wanted
your love to be true.
And when I asked if you were sure,
you said yes,
and made me promise to tell my mom
that you were coming to talk to her
because you really wanted
to make it official.
I still remember how it got dark while I waited
behind the wall to wall windows
of the living room.
A soft drizzle announced rain
as my worst fears came true.
It had taken everything out of me
to talk to my mom…it took
me confessing to her how lonely I had felt
and how finally a boy wanted me…
how happy I was and how you had been
the one insisting to talk to her.
I felt like such a fool
when you didn’t show up,
and even more of a fool
to learn you had played me for one
when the next time we saw each other,
you acted as if nothing happened…pretended …
that you had no clue
about why I was feeling so blue…
why I was feeling
And I said nothing after that.
I let it go, and I guess somehow
managed to bury that memory
and move on…but then…
and there you were
saying how much you have missed me
and how I had been
the love of your life.
Not a single apology.
Not a single word to explain
what happened back then
and why you had hurt me.
Instead, you turned things around
and talked about how hard your life has been
and how much love you need,
and anything else you might have said
because all I really heard was
Life has a way
of giving us back
the pride we thought we lost.
I am not fourteen any more, my friend,
and I am not
Copyright 2017 by Maria R. Palacios