Here Is Something I Can’t Understand

Protect Yo Heart

If I died tomorrow, I could stand in the face of God and say that I’ve never demolished anything. But lying like that would probably buy me and one guest first class tickets to hell.

It was Daddy who trained me to be a killer, a sharpshooter, a markswoman. It was he who taught me to load a sentence in the barrel of my mind and murder a man with one shot.

“But I don’t know what love is,” I was instructed to say whenever a clammy-handed boy reached for my heart. Blink twice, then bulldoze him: “I care for you,” I would lavish.

Some, namely my siblings, might argue that I take my way with words too far. But words are the one area in my life where I always have a good chance of winning. When my heart is sliced, words are the salve. When my mind is stalled, words are everything I need to get my thoughts moving again.  

Thus, I knew exactly how to handle the situation when my ex-boyfriend, Public Enemy No. 1 in my circle, came calling. Arms spread wide like the legs of a black widow, I welcomed him: “I forgive you,” I said.

Using my words, I made a bed for him to lie in. I tranquilized his feverish apology. I made him feel secure in my forgiveness. I let him believe in a “love” renewed.

“I understand.”

“It’s okay.”

“Love you too.”

I let him gape in disbelief in the vastness of my heart. I let him rest assured in the elasticity of my love. And then I sliced him open, one syllable at a time. I let him know, like I knew, that the knife cuts deeper on a comfortable heart.  

Sometimes I still shudder at the memory of the way he cried. For weeks I would delete voicemails laden with pain. Sometimes that shudder is out of disgust for him, and other that shudder is out of disgust for myself.

Here is something I can’t understand: why I took so much calculation and subsequent joy in killing that man.
If I died tomorrow, I could stand in the face of God and say that I’ve only demolished one thing on purpose. And being honest like that will hopefully win me a ticket into heaven to the tune of Cypress Hill.


This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April (Day 8, Demolish) a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge. Catch up with my other #WYAOApril posts: Day 1. Surrender. Day 2. Ascend.  Day 3. Heal. Day 4. SpillDay 5. Ignite. Day 6. Love, Day 7. Complicate.


xo,  Roco

2 thoughts on “Here Is Something I Can’t Understand

  • Wow, what a powerful piece interlaced with humor and realness. I love your writing style. A true wordsmith! Growing up, I, too, learned how to strike someone down with my toungue but after having the same style of lashing directed at me, one too many times – I vowed to never inflict the same pain upon another.

    Melody //

    • 🙂 Thank you, Melody! And yes, words hold serious serious power. I’ve definitely been on the receiving end.

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