I am quietly sitting on the edge of a crowded bench at Putney Bridge station. It is an ordinary monday morning. The bloody bench was empty when I took my most righteous place there to unpack the newest Caitlin Moran book and indulge in this very amusing, modern-feminist account of how a teenage girl made her way out of poverty through nothing but her sass. I am positively loving this. Until doom climbs up the station stars booming with noise and spills onto the platform. Are they 80, 100, 1,000 sweaty and overly-hormonal teenagers? They are in what I can only suppose to be a day trip, given the beyond annoyed expression on a teacher’s face - whom, I can tell, is clearly done with this job and thinking of endless alternate careers right now.
The aliens beaming with hormonal charges in their bloodstreams take over whatever last inch of unoccupied bench there is beside me - and then they move around to surround me on all sides of the seemingly insignificant wood bench, with their loud and tall standing. Ugh. The most annoying thing about this is that the male sitting by my side happens to be wearing the exact same smell that I used to catch from his neck. Is this a joke, God? Like, seriously, because I’m afraid am not in the least amused by your bitter sarcasm. A girl wearing a pair of jeans so tight I can see the parting between her thighs walks up to him, with a typically teenage flirtatious swing on her hips, and sits on his lap. I try to ignore the way this boy looks over at me and to the thick hardback sitting on my lap whenever his sitting object gets distracted. But ignoring this stranger is hard to do, especially when he reminds me so much of how HE probably used to do the same with other female items of his temporary possession whenever I was not around.
Yes, this is certainly a piece of God’s most sour sarcasm. In a time interval of only 8 minutes as I wait for the next train to Earl’s Court, exactly 7 different girls take turns sitting on his lap - he practically grabs a different girl every minute. And the boy won’t stop exhaling THAT smell. To be honest, I think I’ve finally understood it now. I used to think the problem was me, and I missed him so much that I could smell his perfume everywhere. But actually, I was wrong, because it isn’t me, it is just him and all his stupidity. He just happened to wear the most mainstream, clichéd men’s cologne everyday - and obviously I had no clue of this fact having never really known a boy before he came along.
Was I that foolish to fall for a boy who wore the most overused scent of the infamous ‘players’ - as they so proudly name their category within the many social positions of teenage boys? Maybe I knew it all along. Maybe his smell was always there purposely to smear the truth in my face, my neck and my chest, and cling to my skin long after he’s gone.
I wonder if I also wanted all of this to happen. Did I want him to use and abuse me in all forms a lover can possibly do, on some subconscious level? Perhaps I had grown so used to fairy tales and happy endings, that my brain made me seek him from below my rational awareness as a way to show me a piece of heartbreak and despair, in order to prevent some another, even bigger, crash and burn sort of affair in my future. Maybe it was simply warning me of the dangers of misplaced loyalty and trust, like a vaccine that stings and burns when the needle pierces your body, but keeps you safe from a more powerful and possibly fatal disease.
So I guess I owe him a huge THANK YOU after all. Thank you for showing me exactly how two distant concepts of Evil and Deceit are capable of taking human form through sweet eyes and soft words. Thank you for cutting me so deep you made me realise I should never bring a blade to my own skin again - thank you for explicitly teaching me that I should be more concerned with men like you holding knifes to my back, rather than with my own shaky hands working right in front of my eyes. Thank you for showing me just how love can be twisted and moulded into a weapon, to control and use somebody through the deepest of betrayals. Thank you, oh thank you very much dear, thank you for letting me see exactly why I do NOT want - nor need - people like you taking up space in my life."
-Thank you, bastard.
"Because what you are, as a teenager, is a small, silver, empty rocket. And you use loud music as fuel, and the information in books as maps and co-ordinates, to tell you where you’re going."
-How To Build A Girl, by Caitlin Moran
"What would your 7 year old self say if she saw you politely refusing your favorite flavor of ice cream.
(Mint chocolate chip goes best with warm summer nights)
What would she think if she knew you drank coffee black.
(You use to tell your mom it tasted like gasoline)
(Your dad made pancakes every Sunday morning)
Ran until your lungs couldn’t take in oxygen fast enough.
(No one is chasing you anymore)
Counting every calorie.
(You never liked math)
What would she say if she saw you hating yourself ."