You're only a stranger to me.
Because I don't know you yet,
I'll assume you're shy,
For I am as well.
From what I observe now,
You seem nice enough to others,
So when you smile, I smile back at you,
Without a moment's thought about it.
You seem smart and specialized,
From the way you speak in class.
You steal past me in the halls,
You're a seat in front of me in law,
Still a stranger, but that would change soon
In this warm, welcoming autumn season.
You have managed to get some speech from me,
Which others can't really do.
Those who are still strangers see me as delusional,
Without seeing the reasons,
Typical students, as prejudiced as they come.
From a glance, I'd never guess you had the same mind,
But youth is an impediment.
You're not just some stranger anymore,
But in fact, you're my friend.
My seemingly only friend, at the start of another year.
Maybe it will all go right now,
Maybe I could get acceptance,
Which I've been seeking for too long
in my life.
You should know that I hate myself,
I'm pretty sure they all hate me too.
Don't you know there's something wrong with me,
when they all say its true?
Maybe I'll tell you what they're all pinpointing
On a later day, when you'll gain my trust,
You'll have to work for it, but at this rate,
It will come sooner than later.
I should have known that you've just broken up
And wanted a second chance
To find someone to manipulate
and carry out demands,
Then call it love.
Here is when the promises come in,
And my heart is put to this ultimate test.
It all started with, that you looked forward
To coming to class, for the purpose of seeing my smile.
This smile, you see only on occasion, that I keep to myself
For good reason being.
I don't believe the showering myself,
but I take your word for it,
Giving similar praises to you eventually.
I've heard the devil was an angel once,
Its not hard to believe, now.
You make me feel so good, yet so vulnerable all at once.
As I gradually give and put in emotion,
Saying things I've never had,
Feeling ecstasy I've never experienced.
It's a whirlwind of sheer excitement,
It's a trip, a high, a dream,
It can't be really happening to a girl like me.
It's all much too good to be true,
That some stranger would accept me
For the train wreck that I am,
Then take the time to comfort me
When in any doubt about my own worth.
You, an occasional glance in hallways weeks before,
Will now hold my hand and check on me,
Just to prove how you care,
Putting time and effort into the growing lie.
You went as far as to promise marriage,
Writing letters, telling stories
of hurt, pain, grief, and sorrow you've lived through yourself
with previous failed relationships.
So if anyone would tell me different,
I would still scream to the world
That I loved you.
I love you, Joe.
I was first to say it.
Being the devil that you are,
You watched me do your work at my own will.
As I get closer,
so is the distance between the both of us.
You seem so much more like family now,
Than some stranger I've just met before.
I sit beside you in your truck,
I take you out to the movies,
You take me out to dinner buffets.
We listen to the same music,
And rock to the same tunes,
Dancing to the same beat,
As I'm reluctant to dance by myself,
Or with anybody else.
We get ourselves distracted for awhile,
And laugh at the media,
And at the drama,
And at the world around us.
Eventually, I let you sleep in my bed.
One thing leads to another.
We hold hands,
We kiss for hours,
And I touch you,
In places I promised myself I wouldn't.
I've been addicted to many things Joe,
But you were the strongest craving I've had.
I could hardly wait a day to see you again at my door,
Or in the hallways once again.
I gave you my heart Joe, and you know it.
But I didn't give you what you wanted most,
What your other so called lovers did.
I'm a virgin, Joe.
You've said that was okay,
But your eyes and spirit had a different answer.
You've given love many a time,
While I don't know the feeling yet.
Everywhere was a red flag I was oblivious to,
Being so in love at this point.
You talked to your ex girlfriends,
I didn't think anything of it.
I was your fourth
in the course of a year.
You were using me,
Just as you've used them,
Just as you've hurt them.
I still don't believe it.
Why would you ruin anything for us,
When everything is going so great now?
When you promised me so much,
and constantly told me these things
I didn't believe myself?
You made me feel so beautiful,
So wonderful, so unlike myself.
You took away the fears I've had my entire life.
As the fear went away, so did the motivation of trying.
I've spent less time on my studies,
On my worries and struggles,
Just to have fun and let go,
For once in my life.
I'm a four point student,
Yet I didn't quite have the resistance
to the drugs you introduced me to.
I still take them today.
I've found out the truth behind the lies.
The lie the media invokes
about the harm of it all.
The lie you gave me
when I one day questioned you.
The one day, I ask you a question.
One simple question.
"Why are you talking to her?"
Why don't you give me an answer to my questions?
Why do you walk around me so easily, and get so upset over the little things?
If you really do love me as you say you do,
You wouldn't even think of her.
I don't know the story behind you two,
Because you don't give it to me,
But put instead another lie in place,
That you have no interest at all for her,
That I'm the guilty one for not trusting you.
You should know I trust you,
After I've told you my every secret,
After I routinely practice your habits,
After putting your own morals over mine,
After discarding my own beliefs for yours.
After writing you day after day,
After waking up looking forward to seeing you most,
Falling asleep to the thought of it at night.
After the promises of years to come
Between the both of us,
After I saw and built this potential in you,
When you even doubted yourself.
How could you, Joe?!
You might as well have punched a hole in my stomach,
Ripped my heart out, and stabbed it.
You left me that cold November,
For no specific reason at all,
Except for the departing words of,
"I don't want to hurt you."
The warm, colorful autumn months fold into
a most chilled, harsh winter
In which the frigid rain mocks my tears,
which are meaningless to you.
Joe, as childish as it may seem to you,
You really were my everything at a point in my life.
I told you the reason they all viewed me as an outcast.
You told me you were fine with it, and exchanged secrets of your own.
How do I know they weren't lies this whole time,
As you've repeated the same lie to me for months?
This lie, that you wanted nothing more
than my own happiness in your own life.
Every player's catchphrase, and your irresistible charm,
Your soft, comforting touch and words
convinced even my family
that you were something more in my life.
How could we end it here,
When we've shared so much?!
Please, don't do this Joe.
Don't say its true.
Don't make me cry again,
I'm damn sick of crying, Joe.
I've loved you, Joe.
You won't leave my mind,
Whatever means of escape I've had
Isn't working now.
You warned me before, that you're quick to move on.
Yet this time, you watch me suffer, seeing your own suffering.
You continue to write me letters,
Apologizing when I come to class
And dried tears streak my face,
The life in my eyes is taken,
And that smile that you've said brought you joy,
Won't be cast out in this place.
This carefree world I've cherished in with you,
I've realized just the fool I have been,
For believing in someone who doesn't love,
But is in love with love itself.
You, Joe, don't value love,
Let alone the love I had for you.
The feeling, however, anyone could give you.
Even somebody as easy as me.
Where did it go wrong?
Were your "friends," who all talked down on me,
More important to you?
Was it because I wouldn't give up my purity,
And you believed to deserve it?
Yet, I still loved you.
And you gave me no specific reason.
Maybe it could still work out,
And we could be us once more.
So when you handed me the letters
Asking for me back,
I accepted, just because I wanted to believe
you've learned and have changed, just for me.
You've said you stopped talking to her for good,
But there was never that spark we've had before.
I didn't feel safe anymore,
The trust was gone,
And nothing was the same.
You broke up with me again,
I go through another cycle of pain and backlash,
Not quite as gruesome as before,
As this was pain I've only inflicted on myself.
I hate you, Joe.
After awhile, I got sick of being mad,
And wanted to be friends again.
But I couldn't quite get to that point.
I watch you flirt with other girls,
Telling them the same lies you've told me,
The same stories and promises,
You use our inside jokes and catchphrases,
to pick up somebody else
who doesn't know any better.
She doesn't know you're using her,
And you would use anybody
just to feel loved.
A sad story indeed,
Of a stranger who has to find others to love him,
Because he doesn't love himself,
Just as I don't love my own self.
When it really comes down to it,
Through all the drama and pain
Was it really worth it for the memories,
That I still try to forget?
In the end, Joe, we're just two strangers,
trying to find ourselves in this world
of absolute chaos and confusion.
So, good riddance Joe.
Have fun with your new lover,
as I seek another hand to hold,
and willingly go through the cycle again
with hopefully better conclusions.
At least before, I could look you in the eyes
without remorse and regret,
You're only a stranger to me.
This poem is so gripping, and it might just be that I'd glanced at your comment in the description first, but the end was definitely foreshadowed in the beginning. I liked that.
And in the end, he's still--though perhaps with much more meaning than before--a stranger. I'm not sure if 'clever' is a compliment for this story, but tying the beginning and the end together with that expression was clever.
But I'm just muttering and mumbling around here, so I'll get down to it. I love this because it's real. I found myself wondering on the mention on him talking to his ex, 'why would she (or you for that matter) even consider letting him back?' and some might say as you did, that it was your fault for allowing him back that you got hurt again. I'm not sure where I was going with that; my thoughts are so scattered this morning. I guess what I'm trying to say is you answered that question. And it reminds me of my own girlfriend (now wife) who kept letting me come back (and I did not deserve it, but I'll never stop being grateful). I don't believe I'm any closer to understanding the mystery of how love and grace never fail, but you let a little more light in on the picture, even though your circumstances ended slightly differently than mine.
Well, I don't think I can make enough sense of the rest of the sensations running around my skull about your poem, so I'll leave it at that! Sorry to totally rant/ramble-bomb your comments! Thank-you so much for sharing your experience in this poem (:
I've heard the devil was an angel once,
Definitely my favorite line. Thank you for sharing something so personal with us.
Thanks so much Marissa, that means a lot to me. I know it still needs some polishing, I sort of wrote it all at once, but I think its somewhat better that the words don't rhyme and its more of a testimonial instead.
So, how are you doing?
Cassie, I love this. I love how you capture the evolution of your relationship from acquaintances to friends to love interests to exes. I (as will many others, I think) find this piece very relatable.
I got a lump in my throat at the bed imagery. Totally been there, although my circumstances were a bit different. Still, it depicts just how much trust you had invested in him.
I like that it comes full circle at the end, back to strangers, and that though you clearly still feel hurt, you are making steps toward healing and considering your future. I also like how you brought to the table that both good and bad came from this situation, changing you for forever.
I'm glad you wrote this; I hope that it was a healing experience for you.
That sickened me too. I'm glad I didn't take it to the level he wanted me to go. It really does come back to being strangers, because now he has a girlfriend and doesn't even acknowledge me in the hallway when he would at least say "hey" to me before, hence the title. Well, a title of a song by Jimi Hendrix had a little something to do with it to.
It really was, thanks for reading it and I just saw that you posted your own song on Facebook and I'll listen to it now
Yes, it's unfortunate that Joe was unwilling to wait until you were ready to take that next step. It's one thing to expect different things from a relationship, but it's another thing entirely how one handles it, and it's never okay for one party to push the other to do things. There, my two cents.
I hope you enjoy the song, and I look forward to seeing your beautiful face a bit more around here!