There are 5 stages in a girl’s life, and they begin when she meets the boy who will unknowingly teach her about the heart-wrenching experience of unreciprocated love.

The first stage begins when she meets him; and he’s unlike any other, and her childlike charisma just wants to hold him, but more so, she wants him to hold her too. They are friends, but that flirtatious layer sits on them, binding them. Eventually, he holds her hand, maybe asks her on a date, and opens the idea to the possibility of love. But he does not intend to love her, he intends to fuck her. This she does not know.


Stage two begins when they first kiss, and she’s oblivious to the poison on his lips; she tells herself that he tastes sweet. And when they kiss, she accidently makes him her entire universe, and he’s all she thinks about, talks about, loves about. She takes their conversations as the start of many, and she takes the union of their tongues as some sort of promise that he’s going to be around for a long time. And in the back of his car, she traces his back with her fingertips, memorizes the shape of him. She takes these moments as proof that he’s going to be around for a long time. That he loves her too. She sees her future in blurry fragments, imagining him as the one who will save her. But he does not intend to save her, this she does not know.


Stage three is marked by a peculiar awakening. She begins to realize that maybe she is not the only girl who has felt his touch, that maybe he does not love her. Stage three is marked by the beginning of love as self-destruction. She is his whenever he wants her to be, she blocks the thoughts that tell her he is no good. The constant heart-wrenching of her soul, she takes as love. His constant abandonment, she takes as the inevitable consequences of love. It does not matter what her friends say, they don’t understand. Because she’s never felt this way before, and she cannot let go of his eyes; the comfort of his gaze has penetrated her veins and she needs a constant fix. Love, to her, is the constant longing for him, and the unreciprocated nature of him - it is just how he is, but she can change him, he’ll change for her, he will.


Stage four - she begins to take herself back. Every other time she said was the last time does not matter, this time she is sure. She begins to pick herself up off the ground; wipes her eyes, not to pretend as if the tears were never there, but as a method of self-love, because she no longer falls to his feet. And though his gaze is still just as beautiful as the first, it is toxic. When he calls, she does not answer. He sees that he can lose her, so he tries to keep her within his reach. She resists. Tells him for the last time, she cannot do this anymore. She cannot be his friend. She cannot be that girl he goes to when he’s bored. Her heart is not a walk-in for him to leave bits and pieces of his soul. Her lips are not for the nights he needs company. Her body is hers only, and he thinks because he touched her, he knows her. “But he is just a boy, and she has galaxies growing inside of her."


Stage five is rather lonely. She has taken herself back yes, and the summer nights spent by his side are idle memories, but she is alone. She copes with a numbness that lives inside her and feels like home; she copes by getting drunk with strangers, kissing all the wrong boys, letting them feel her up because she misses his touch. She tries to love, to open herself up, but she’s wilted. Cracks leave open spaces, letting the wind drift through, making her think she is not whole. But self-love is not a one day thing. This she does not know, but this she learns, and he was her first lesson. It is in this stage that she begins to grow, and it only gets better from here, darling. Stand like you are not broken, wear your favorite lipstick like you wore the taste of his lips, and fucking love yourself because you do not need anyone to save you. I once read that “mosaics are made from broken pieces but they’re still works of art… and so are you.”


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