Joy by Merriam AlFuhaid

I sit across from you, silently ruining our afternoon, occupied with thoughts of my own destruction. My mind has always been a dark place. It’s not as if you walked in and turned off the lights. It’s just, before it didn’t matter so much.

I’m sorry I’m too busy hating myself to love you.

Did no one ever tell you what you deserve? You deserve someone who can write you a love poem free of self-loathing, someone who can speak of feelings without being choked by the fear that not every single word is true and will stay true, someone who does not hope for endless reassurances she does not ask for, who can give what she hopes to receive. But for some reason, you still want me.

I don’t deserve the way you feel; I don’t deserve any of what you’ve done for me
I can’t live up to this
I can’t stop being scared
I’ve never given myself to anyone; I’ve never let anyone believe that I would stay
I’ve never been able to do what I must do for you
And the record in my head screams I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t I can’t,
Sometimes so loudly it covers up the little voice that told me,
“He isn’t anyone.”

I contradict myself, I hope that you won’t realize I have no right to keep you, because I have never gotten so much joy from hearing someone breathe; I have never been held so tenderly close before, and you have not even touched me. I have never loved anyone’s smile so much. I have given no justifications and fewer promises. I have nothing to say except
I don’t deserve you
Please stay.

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