Don’t let him burn cigarette holes into your skin and tell you it makes you prettier.
I. You do not need a boy to buy expensive, lacy underwear. Wear it for yourself. You look great. Never let anyone convince you otherwise.
II. If you spend all your time waiting for things to happen, you’re letting other people control your fate. Time won’t wait for you. Get a move on.
III. Living off the scraps of love from other people will leave you hungry. Grow to love yourself and you won’t die of starvation.
IV. Learn when to care and when to laugh it off. If somebody hurts you, tell them. If they hurt you again, leave.
V. Life is too short to spend it sad. You don’t need approval to turn up the music and dance like you’re America’s next model. You look funny. Learn to stop caring.
VI. If it’s edible and you’re hungry, eat it. If it’s edible and you want to eat it, eat it. If it’s edible and you’re full , convince the girl in the corner who looks like she’s starving to have it. Tell her she’s goddamn beautiful and repeat it until she smiles.
VII. If he doesn’t call you after your first argument, he won’t call you after your last. If his arms are slack when you make up, he hasn’t let it go. If he can’t look you in the eye when he says he loves you, he’s lying. And if he watches you walk away with tears in your eyes, he’s not the one.
VIII. Your mother went through nine months of hell for you and prepared herself to go through another eighteen years of it. She does not deserve your impatience because some boy did not notice you at school.
IX. Your emotions may not make sense and sometimes you will be irrational, but they will always be valid. You are allowed to cry if you are hurt. You are allowed to find bad jokes funny. And you are allowed to scream if you want to, but it is better to laugh.
X. You are not perfect but that does not give other people the right to use it against you. Stop apologizing for everything. It will not make you more likable. Take responsibility for yourself and demand respect, not compliments.
XI. No one can tell you the meaning of life. Happy people are the ones who have found their own meaning.
I hope one day someone looks at you like they’ve been waiting a long time to feel as happy as they do now. I hope they tell you cute things like how they found this cosy Italian restaurant around the corner and kiss your nose before spinning you around in the street. I hope when you ask them to go for a walk in the middle of the night they don’t complain that it’s too cold and even though you can see the condensation of your breath in the midnight air I hope you feel warm. I hope old ladies smile knowingly when you walk by, hand in hand, along the pavement and I hope you are smiling too.
When he whispers how much he loves you I hope you feel your heart beating so fast you’re scared you’ll never recover. I hope he stays and makes you feel important, like he wants every part of this and isn’t afraid to admit it. I hope he finds words that touch you where his fingers cannot and knows how to pull your hair when you’re feeling electric but hold your soul when you’re fragile like glass. And I hope you find someone who asks before they kiss you, not because they need permission but because they want to see your knees buckle and your lips part ways. I hope their hands feel right around your waist when you reply ‘yes’ and again ‘yes’, until you’re falling apart in his arms whispering ‘yes, yes, yes’ and I hope you never need to ask if he’s the one because the answer will be staring you in the face.
"You still love him," he says, half question, half demand.
"Of course I don’t." She replies.
But then part of her wonders whose arms she’d run into if she still had the choice.
"You still think of him," he whispers, when she’s turned off the lights and lies there trying not to give her thoughts away.
"Go to sleep," she says.
But when her eyes are closed and she drifts between consciousness, she swears it’s his voice she hears and his fingers tracing the rise and fall of her ribs.
"Do you miss him?" He asks.
"No." And it’s not a lie, not really.
But part of her still remembers how he made her smile and how she buried her 2am laughter into his chest. Part of her still questions the possibility of seeing him again, and she thinks, maybe just once, for old time’s sake.
“Would you go back?” He finally asks.
And she can’t help herself.
"Yes." She says, "yes."