She Never Promised You Anything

// rape, abandonment, bad end

She promised you the world. She never promised you anything.

When she found you, you were just a hint of embers trapped between an oppressive layer of cultural ash. Notebooks filled with furious psychotic scribbles aside, maybe you could have continued like that forever.

“Is this really what you want for yourself?”

Those are the words that had cracked your whole reality apart. They were innocent, curious, she really did want to know the answer. You told her, and she smiled. You liked her smile. That was the mistake, you let her make you hope.

When she stole you away, it was the best thing that had ever happened to you. You felt alive for the first time. You revelled in the feeling of speed and motion as she hit eighty on the westbound interstate. You smiled and laughed and sang along with the radio. It was good.

A thousand miles and six months later and you’re lying awake on a bedbug infested couch while the sound of her fucking her latest hookup softly reverberates through the wall. You bury your head in the blanket to drown the sound out. Is this really what you want for yourself?

Lazy days in the passenger seat seem to blur together. Rest stop dinners and crowded house shows. You can’t tell if it’s wearing you down or not, this is, in a sense, the only life you’ve ever had. You’re running out of money. She tells you money can’t buy happiness.

A pair of backpacks represent the sum total of your worldly possessions. You’d left most of your old life behind. There wasn’t that much to leave behind. There were some additions too: a secondhand sundress she gave you, a new notebook, a pair of already cracked sunglasses. Life.

You’re sitting on the hood of the car outside a venue and she tells you she spent the last of your money on ketamine. It’s fine though, because she knows how to make a lot of money fast and will explain how later. Also she’s bringing another girl along.

You’re demoted to the backseat. It’s okay at first, the three of you make a striking trio, and the car rides become entertaining in a whole new way. You try not to let things get to you, even if you haven’t eaten in two days. She still hasn’t explained her plans to you.

She never actually bothers to explain, not until after she’s led you into “Matt’s” apartment. It’s only then that she whispers in your ear that if you show him a good time, he’ll make your little money problem go away. You do it, he never gives you a chance to say no anyway.

She tells you that you did good while you smoke a cigarette outside. You’re never going to feel clean again. It’s a good thing she bought that ketamine. You spend the next twelve hours staring up at the car’s interior as she races down unknown highways at twenty over the limit.

“I think this is a good place for us to part ways.”

The festival is upbeat, relaxed, the music from the stage filters through the trees with the warm sun. You close your eyes, and feel as all the light and warmth drains away from the world. She loves you and wishes you the best.

She said she wanted to build a life with you, she never said that you would have a place in that life after it was built. She promised that it would all work out. She promised that it would be okay. She promised you the world. She never promised you anything.

Eight thousand miles zig-zagged across the country, in a festival surrounded by people, you find yourself completely and utterly alone. You wander the trails, eyes and mind lost somewhere a thousand miles back in Matt’s apartment. You have nowhere to go.

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