I Thought He Was My Friend




I thought he was my friend,

Turns out it was just a game of
Let's pretend,
An imaginary cat and mouse chase
That had no end,
Or start.

Because it wasn't really there.

But now I look at it,
Because I couldn't give him what he wanted,
When he looked at me through gritted teeth
And faces disappointed with
Eyes that asked questions
Already answered a hundred
Times between the lines,
I was a passive idiot.

I should have confronted
The ping-pong ball
Bouncing back and forth,
The rotting of something more,
Something ignored.
Like gone off milk.

Hindsight only ever gets it right
After regret bites.

I was a fool to think
I could be part of his clique
Without pandering to his needs,
But it only really hit me
One day.

When he showed me the magazine
He was reading,
He turned to me and said:
“Ooh look at those lips”,
“Ooh look at those legs”,
Gawping at the beautiful lady
Stretched across the glossy
Pages of scantily placed lingerie,
Looking at me and pointing
With that passive aggressive
Repressed fire loitering
In his eyes,
The look, the despise,

The entitlement I had rejected.

As his eyes scanned the airbrushed fantasy,
His reaction represented every insecurity
I had about my body,
Not the photogenic lady's fault obviously,
I didn't hate her,
Just me,
And him,
For deliberately snarling
And smirking and aiming
His low self-esteem
Like a weapon
At my own self-worth,
Bullet hit hard,
Opening my heart,
Bit by bit,
Unpicking everything
That doesn't fit into
The ideal we're told
To make real,
“Ooh look at those lips”,
Going in for the kill,
“Ooh look at those legs”,
Trying to make me feel
Comparisons and all the frills
That come with it,
Shame, guilt and panic,
My own inadequate
Ways of dealing with shit,
Pointing at her,
Looking back at me,
Testing my body positivity.

And the photogenic lady
Who’s legs continued
After the pages’ ended,
Was shoved in my face
So unexpectedly,
I didn’t want to look,
I didn't want to see,
He, coaxing my vulnerability,
Me, facing my arena,
My Achilles'.

Or maybe I'm being unfair and reading too much into it,
Maybe I was just being too sensitive,

Or maybe he was just being a dick.

It's hard, when there are no words shared,
Just faces left saying what really needs to be said.


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