The most important people to me are those I've wronged.

I don't mean that like "I always hurt the people I love." That's probably true but that's not what I meant. No, I mean that these people know me the way nobody else does. I've said and done some fucking terrible things to people. And you know what? That was I. That was me. I did that. Me. And then you just move on and pretend it never happened. But they know what happens when I'm not smiling my crooked smile, or making dismissive jokes about the world, acting like I don't care about anything. They've seen the fire in my eyes, tasted the poison on my tongue.

I'm remembering a time when I was breaking up with a girl whose name belonged in poetry--or I guess to be accurate she was breaking up with me--and we were arguing and we both hated each other so much, and we knew each other so well, and we both said a few things. They were the sorts of things where it doesn't matter if it's true, or if you really mean it. Just the act of saying them is unforgivable. By the time she stormed out of the room we were both crying. By the time she slammed the door we knew each other more intimately than we knew anyone else.

If this were a movie we'd be best friends now. We'd be there for each other and keep each other sane, because we know what monsters we are under everything. We'd keep the monster in check. She'd be dating a boy from California with an indomitable spirit and an acoustic guitar, and I'd be dating an adventurous Brooklyn native whose many piercings are only outnumbered by her many talents. Some cute indie pop band would do the soundtrack, and we'd go on an adventure across the country, just the two of us. We'd fight when the car broke down in Wisconsin, and in the Infinity Room at the House on the Rock we'd see something hilarious and we'd both laugh and hug and promise never to fight again. Then we'd fix the car. The credits would be a montage of us driving home and laughing, windows down, hair flowing in the wind.

Since this is the real life the last time I saw her was a few years ago, and we sometimes keep in touch on Facebook, but nothing substantial. We've both tried and we just can't really talk anymore. The last time we met was when she was moving away. We ate at the diner where we had our first date, not quite on purpose--for either the first date or the last meeting--and we spent most of the time staring at our meals and making awkward small talk.

"So, how was your day?" "Are you excited to move?" "Is everything packed?" "I'll see you around, I guess."

Whenever I think of her I think of her with her beautiful eyes brimming over with tears, her voice hoarse from screaming at me, but the white-hot fury of the moment was fading, and I could tell I'd hurt her, and I just pressed on. And then she said all sorts of things to me and stormed out, and when the door slammed I felt like the worst person to ever live.

I'd be so afraid that part of me would be lost to the history books, hidden under my little facade, but I know she remembers. I hope she'll pass it on. What's the good of owning your mistakes if they're forgotten?

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