Love and Relationships

I HAD DIVORCED LOVE… ONLY TO ASK FOR IT BACK

I was twelve when I first remember not believing in love.  It’s not that I didn’t believe in love in the same way kids stop believing in Santa Claus, or how some people don’t believe in God. I knew love existed, I just didn’t believe it was worth the effort. I didn’t have enough faith in love to be confident enough to pursue it.  When I was ten, I had come home from my fifth-grade Christmas concert to hear the word “divorce” spoken to me in a way that was no longer distant—it was personal. And the weight of it felt too adult for my ten-year-old self to bear.  It took two years of watching things unfold for me to truly understand what “divorce” meant. It meant seeing my parents hurt behind closed doors and wearing smiles that were full of anything but happiness. It took two years to see the...

UN/ABLE

Light shines through wooden shutters covering our back door. A little pocket of bright sunshine casts shadows on the floor, making patterns and rows on the carpet. Outside the breeze rustles the branches and shakes the leaves. The air is warm and ever-changing. Fluid. The light dances through. Soft tawny fur covers my shirt and blanket, but the heat from a sweet dog warms my hands as I rub his belly. He’s heavy, comforting and doesn’t move unless I do. The house isn’t silent. I hear cars and trucks moving outside on the road. A fan is on overhead. The air conditioning is running in the other room, but all is calm. All is well. I sit just like this for days on end. Unable. Unable to get up. Unable to start the day. Unable to move. Why can’t I just move? Heaviness weighs me down. Deeply root...

I WAS THE OTHER WOMAN. I’M HERE TO TELL YOU IT’S NOT OKAY.

He was 32. I was 20. You’d think that with me being so young, he might have taken pity on me, but I guess some men are just hardwired to not give a sh*t. I waited a year and a half to confront the girlfriend-of-five-years through an emotional and heartfelt message on Facebook. I prepared myself for the fallout, and I knew I deserved every single thing that she spewed at me: how she told me I took part in ruining a relationship, how I should have told her sooner, and how I’m a terrible person for not doing so. I told her I understood, and that I couldn’t express how sorry I was. She ended it by telling me to (essentially) f**k off. I deserved it. I’m not in the business of making myself out to be the victim. I knew what I was doing, but I didn’t care. I didn’t care that he never uttered her...

EXPOSED

As he journeyed into me, I found my soul unprotected through the window he opened just by staring into my eyes. There I realized that I’d already lost this battle before it ever started. The pureness in his eyes left me motionless, breathless, shining a light in the darkest corners of my life that I kept secret. I’d been driven so far into the dark by my past and a stranger, in a matter of seconds, rescued me. The only thing he ever said was, “Hello.” My heart drowned in deep repentance, I flatlined. Before I could come to, he was already gone.     Author: Moneeke Byrd Email: neekechantay@gmail.com Author Bio: My name is Moneeke Byrd and I am a United States Air Force Veteran. I developed a passion for writing at an early age, and I’m excited to use ...

THE MOMENT WE KNEW

it’s 3AM.  my head is thick and sweet with liquor  there’s a skyline before me,  grass below me  and you  right beside me.  we’ve laid here all night  speaking to the stars  well, actually, to each other  in the center  of the  city  we love.  there’s just inches between  our outstretched hands  but miles between  our uncertain hearts.  friends –  we’ve always been friends  but i don’t have  many friends  who look at me  the way you are  right now  like you’re seeing me  for the first time  like you’re looking  for constellations  in the freckles on my skin  like the stars above us  aren’t even there.     Author: Bridget Cook  Email: bridgetmcook14@gmail.com  Author Bio: My name is Bridget Cook. I’m an ambivert, loyal friend/sister/daughter, creator and much more. I enjoy p...

RILEY-J’S

I went out to meet up with my cousin and her husband at the local watering hole downtown. I had just put in a double in exchange for the next day off, which meant I would finally have time to go out, and I snag those chances whenever I get them with the amount of time I work, plus school full-time.  It was a great night. I count my drinks, and I was trying to obtain number three at this point.  I had left my cousin and her family to hang out with my boyfriend, so we hit up a different bar around the corner.   This bar is a great bar—my parents know the owner and bartenders. It’s got that dim, dungeon feel where you could successfully hide your side-bitch in a corner and never get caught.   I have three one dollar bills left because, when left to my own devices, I’ll have zero in my bank ac...

BUT SOME THINGS ONLY GOD CAN FORGIVE

When the blow comes…I can see it.  His hands ball into a fist. Each. Finger. Curls. Slowly. Inward.  He pulls his arm back like a lever and his fist rams into my face. My mouth, to be exact.  My tooth pierces into my bottom lip and as the lip starts to already swell, it trickles blood.  I can see in his eyes, the hot red anger subsides to fear.  Not like the fear I have, but it’s there.  That is how I replay it in my head, like it was something I could have stopped.  What if I just did something…or not said something.  In reality, when it happened, his knuckles were already crushed against my lips before I even knew what happened.  “It’s! Your! Fault!  You fucking say shit to me!” He spat out, “for fuck sakes, your teeth hurt my hand.”   He stalks out of his bedroom leaving me on his shitt...

WHO IS SHE?

I’d stopped seeing my myself. The reflection before me had become a stranger. Who was this woman? Her wings had been broken, her eyes carried the weight of every dark corner that her marriage projected onto the back of her eyelids; nightmares. No emotion in her eyes as if every murky memory had blown out her existence, her mouth the grave. A once flawless smile was now chipped teeth hidden behind busted lips holding an unspoken tragedy and each scar held a memory from being slammed into doors, floors, cabinets and above all, abused by the hands that held hers before God with a promise to love and protect her from the world around her. Those hands of protection were the reason for broken bones, permanent scars, a child resting in peace, hospital bills longer than grocery receipts, but...

I AM NOT DEFINED BY WHO I LOVE

When I was a young girl, I was provided with these standards and guidelines on the woman that I was supposed to become. I was told my aspirations in life were to fall in love with a man, be a mother and live in a white picket fence home providing for my husband and children. I was so young that I believed that was the path all young girls were supposed to follow. Once I was around seventeen, I discovered that the love I was supposed to feel for a man, I felt for women. The moment I discovered that realization, I was hit with a flood of negative emotions because I was not the woman that society wanted me to be. I believe that women are faced with that pressure everyday. When I came out to my parents, they began defining me by who I loved rather than who I was as an individual. Suddenly my a...

TO THE BOY WHO GAVE UP ON ME

I look back and I can’t believe how much I cried over you, how much I poured into you, poured until I was empty. I can’t believe how much I thought about you, worried about you, when it was you who gave up on me.  Now I see you with her. It looks like you’ve moved on, and quickly at that. She’s everything you could have wanted. Everything I wasn’t. Everything you gave up on me for. Or maybe you’re with her because she doesn’t know you, at least not as much as I do. I’m done guessing, analyzing, overanalyzing. But I’m not sad. I’m not even angry at you. Actually, the only thing I can find to do is laugh because I don’t need you anymore. I don’t need anyone, but apparently, you do. You gave up on me as if we were nothing. You said you lov...

THE APP EVERYONE USES THAT’S UNDERMINING TRUST IN YOUR RELATIONSHIPS

Two years ago I packed up my American life and moved the whole operation over the Atlantic to Spain. Needless to say, a lot of things changed in my day-to-day. Certain apps that I relied on in the US were not accessible in Europe, and some that I was told were necessary for my new life weren’t available to me until I got a Spanish phone number.   One of the apps that I had integrated so easily into my life in the US that I could no longer use was Venmo. I couldn’t tie the app to my European bank account and it was too much of a hassle to use it via my American account. Not to mention, people in Europe have never heard of it.  My social life reverted to those high school days of having a lot of small change on me to pay for myself when checks were split or to be able to pay whic...

FIVE THINGS TO DO WHEN YOU DON’T LIVE NEAR YOUR BESTIE

Sometimes it’s incredibly difficult not living in the same place as your best friend. Whether they moved because they met the love of their life, landed their dream job, or you simply ended up in different cities, it’s just plain old hard when they aren’t an Uber ride away. It makes you want to curl up in a ball and drown your sorrows in Halo Top. Well, drop the spoon and try these five tips to help wipe away your tears. Communicate on the Reg (I’ll be shocked if you’re not doing this already, but I take pleasure in making fairly obvious observations. Indulge me, if you will.) Thanks to unlimited texting and family phone plans, I seriously text my best friends 24/7. If I see a funny quote or come across something that reminds me of them, I screenshot and send. There is nothing better than ...

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