At Age Twelve


I don’t remember what the weather was like. I think it might have been in winter…or was it spring? I don’t know. I don’t even remember what you were wearing or what I was wearing. But I think I had a book in my hand but I could have been sitting down. No…I was standing and I could see you walk out the door. Yes. It all feels so stupid now, thinking about it. Saying it out loud. My stomach starts to knot. I can feel myself growing queasy but I have to go on. Someone must know. I should at least try and explain, however complicated this may become.

The moment was wordless and involved only the eyes–your eyes. You walked backwards with your chin tilted upwards a bit. You swung your arms a little. What I remember most beside your eyes was your feet and how you stabbed them into the ground like daggers. You reminded me of a soldier, a short proud soldier. It was the sort of assertive demeanor you put on when around me. I wonder if that’s something new I inspired in you, or if you always did it around those you wanted to deceive. Regardless, it’s something I noticed in you after the break-up. But I’m getting ahead of myself now. What transpired on that day, the day with the uneventful weather and Winter/Spring feel (come to think of it it might have been summer…or on the brink of summer), was only a reaction to what I did to you. To how you were treated.

We met in seventh grade. Seventh grade. How stupid. Everyone tells you that it doesn’t matter. At seventh grade nothing is permanent, your friends, boyfriends, clothes. It’s all seasonal. High school and college, that’s where things get more serious. Middle school is nothing, you’re just a kid at age twelve. That’s what adults tell you. What they don’t tell you is that at age twelve you’re still very impressionable. At that age you’re old enough to remember, you’re old enough to feel loss and betrayal. At that age puberty starts to kick in. Boys aren’t necessarily filled with cooties anymore. At that age almost every twelve year old is having an identity crisis, trying to blend in or stand out. Trying to fill in the shoes of identity. Adults don’t tell you that you’re more than just twelve at age twelve. They just lecture you on the version of yourself they’d like to see.

When I saw you for the first time I thought, “Is this the guy everyone keeps complaining about?” You didn’t fit your “big mouth” stereotype. A lot of people thought you were annoying but you made me laugh. Not that it mattered though. I was ashamed. Everyone, and I mean everyone thought you were a joke. Someone that didn’t matter. I only said I’d be your girlfriend because someone dared me to.

Soon after we had to break up. There were too many questions going around. People were asking me if I actually liked you. They’d say things like, “Why are you with him?” “You should break up with him.” The worst part is I really did like you and at one point I just new it was love. You were just so dedicated and you’d smile every time you saw me. It was the way you said “crayon” and how you could make me laugh without trying. I wasn’t thinking. I never thought about what I was doing to you when I listened to what others were saying. I just broke under the pressure. Once, twice, who’s counting how many times I broke it off?

But you always came back…sort of. Since the beginning you counted every time I broke your heart and you held on to it. I was the one that chipped away at what we had, making our piece smaller and smaller every time. That’s why you looked at me the way you did the last time I saw you. It wasn’t like in seventh grade when you would look at me and we’d both smile. It wasn’t even sad or empathetic. You shot through me with that stare and I wanted to tell you everything but I couldn’t. It was too late. We both understood. Every piece that was left of us I had already chipped away. So I watched you walk and stare me down as your final form of revenge.


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