I think we’re meant for each other.
I think I love you, even though we started replacing “I miss you” with “I miss the way your ass looks in the backseat of my car at midnight.” I think I love you because the first thing I think of when you say the word “naked” is your skin, warm like days in late May and smooth as thousand-thread-count sheets, even though we lay tangled in a cheap set from Ikea, even though when I say “naked,” you think “assnipplespussy” in that order. I think I love you because you cried sorry-salt into the seams of my jeans, your head in my lap and all of the things we’ve said to each other hanging in the air like thunderclouds. The only other time we’ve sat that still was when you told me you never wanted to leave, then kissed me, then hurried to pull out of my driveway.
I think I hate myself because I like the idea of your lips pressed to my forehead more than I like the idea of your lips pressed to my thighs, but I lie to you and say I crave the latter. I think I’m a masochist because I hated algebra yet I’ve always measured my worth in numbers, loathing myself for (6) minutes of waiting after I sent (1) response to your (2) photos, lending the lull in the conversation to (3) extra bites of mac and cheese and the (18) inches that creep around the circumference of my thighs. I think I’m unreasonable for crying even though you asked for my body when I told you before I did not want to give it to you; I think I’m unreasonable for giving it to you even though I did not want to give it to you like that. I think I’m the bad guy because I keep asking you to take the blame even though it was my pelvis punctured by my own megapixels, and besides, Cosmopolitan says this is the sexiest new way to say “I love you.”
So I think we deserve each other.
So I forgive you for making me soft even though I had already begged to be hard. I forgive you for calling me beautiful, even though the slope of my knees grew bruised and linear from being on them for so long on the floor of your car. I forgive you for the moments you asked me to share the softest parts of myself through the bright and sterile lens of the cellphone camera, where they would grow cold and permanent in the dark spaces between our wifi connections. I think I forgive you even though I told you I didn’t want to but did it anyway. I think I forgive myself even though I told you I didn’t want to but did it anyway. I think I love you even though I told you I didn’t want to but did it anyway.
Katie Quines is sixteen years old and lives in Portland, Oregon. When she isn’t writing or painting, she can be found listening to Bon Iver and drinking coffee with too much cream. Her work has been recognized at silver level by the Scholastic Art and Writing Awards.