I hate having to ask my mother for permission to call out of work because I’m too scared to decide for myself.
And it’s not that I don’t know how to make decisions on my own but my job reminds me how replaceable I am that I’m not entirely sure they’ll keep me if I called out just one more time because I’m still not feeling too well.
When they asked me why I even went in, I couldn’t lie and say it’s because I thought I was okay. No, it’s because I work retail and they’ll question me unless they see me in my hospital gown, struggling through the store wheeling the IV down the hall. And my coworkers understand this. They know it doesn’t make sense.
But he shared his story about how this job allows him to spend more time with his family and I had heard it before and it continues to touch my heart. Sadly, that’s not my reality. I don’t have a duo income, and I came here on my own and it’s only these past 8 months that I’ve had a sibling in NYC. I couldn’t babysit my nephew anymore because my work schedule wouldn’t allow me to. I’m sure my story isn’t the only one.
I’ve only ever felt replaceable in my relationships. I’m never good enough so I could see his eyes wander towards women who could meet the needs I left untouched. But here I am, in job that reminds me daily that they could find someone to be me because I’ll never be enough.
“If you’re looking for more money, then retail isn’t for you. That you need to find a different job.” Then he told us, after she asked for more compensation, that our pay, our benefits, and this job were just that, compensation.
If that is enough compensation, why am I feeling like this?
I promise this is the last poem I’m writing about a broken heart. I know you’re getting tired of these so I mean it. I understand because I’m getting tired of trying to figure out how I continue to find myself in this situation.
It’s just that he came into my life like a whirlwind and I wasn’t ready for the gift of love that he planned to give me. I was scare, nervous, and unsure of what I wanted. So I hesitated and he understood his position in my world. And as soon as he came, he went.
When he returned, I found myself ready to give love. I missed him. I actually really liked him. I allowed words to move above action and listened to everything he had to say. He claimed my guard was up and no one could get close to me. So I took a moment to actively break it down.
But, inconsistency, potential girlfriends, and high hopes are dream crushers.
This is my last poem about a broken heart. Rushed like our relationship.
I thought about it. No longer sitting on my mind like a lifeless doll, it came to life. Alluring. I actually considered following it today.
I knew I didn’t have the necessary tools but my old friend would help me find them. In a city where people come to fulfill their every desire, mine could be a part of them. All I would need is a train and that’s pretty easy. They’re all around me. Or better yet, maybe something less inconvenient for others. And I’m sure I could find something that wasn’t so disfiguring.
In between thoughts, he happened to text me. A day later, he asked how I was and although my fingers did the talking, I still found myself spitting out everything on my mind. I told him. He told me, someone close on him had followed through but failed. I knew he told me on purpose. To remind me that if she could live through this life that I could too.
But I’m not her. I’m definitely me. And I’m definitely not strong enough to stop following this demon. So I allowed it to guide me into traffic, wondering if the bus would be as painful as the train might be. It wasn’t a sure thing and I needed the promise that this would be forever.
We’ve been on and off for years now. I almost let it talk me into playing its game but I couldn’t break her heart. I wouldn’t leave her wondering how her sister could have been seduced by a demon masquerading as a beautiful doll.
So pretty, black and red. Its claws gently caressing my back, creating designs I couldn’t see but felt so right. Mouth full of teeth grinning at me, a grotesque smile. Charming and sharp. Its voice was musical, calming, rocking me into a sleep. Telling me to finally become one with it.
Now here I am, alone. Struggling to place the doll back on the shelf. Not strong enough to end this tragic relationship. And too scared to follow it into the dark.