how to kill yourself
" You told me to trust you but I’m still coughing up water from the last time you let me drown. "
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" You’re not a bad person for the ways you tried to kill your sadness. "
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"

Three years later, a new girl sits cross-legged on your bed.
She tastes like a different flavor of bubblegum than you are used to.
She opens up a book that you had to read in high school, and a folded picture of us falls out of chapter three.
Now there are two unfinished stories resting in her lap.
Inevitably, she asks, and you tell her.

You say: I dated her a while back.
You don’t say: Sometimes, when I’m holding you, I imagine the smell of her vanilla perfume.

You say: She was younger than me.
You don’t say: The sixteen summers in her bones warmed the eighteen winters my skin had weathered.

You say: It’s nothing now.
You don’t say: But it was everything then.

"
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" Seek respect, not attention. It lasts longer. "
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