1. After him, every white cotton pair of underwear I owned was replaced with silky things that I hid from my mother. The humidity and his hot breath saying, “I think I love you” fogged up the windows and my insides. When it was over, I swatted away mosquitoes and drew shapes in the steam as he ran outside in your boxers to dispose of the evidence. While he drove me home, he stared straight at the road to avoid my grin. There was no goodbye kiss. There was no “I’ll see you soon.” By the time I got inside my house, I had nervously scratched my fresh mosquito bites so hard that bits of blood stained my bra.
2. He taught me how to be touched and feel nothing. I taught him how to care for a ghost. The day he muttered “bitch” outside of the bedroom, I left.
3. Friends and I giggled about him in a bathtub, as we made drinks with $10 vodka. Later on, I could not explain how I fell for his speech about how much he cared about me, until I remembered his face backlit by the moonlight as he lifted my dress.
4. Sex, adventure, and red-hot passion don’t compare to the way he smiled when he curled up beside me.
5. We shivered in his parents’ apartment, but still took off our clothes when the movie got slow. I led him to the spare bedroom as the credits rolled, and pulled a quilt around us as we kissed each other’s goosebumps in the hazy darkness.
6. When he rubbed his foot against my leg, I pretended I was sleeping. I thought he had offered me a place to sleep off my high out of kindness. The next day, on the phone with my boyfriend, I shook with anger as he told me, “Oh, don’t get so worked up. He was probably just being friendly. Besides, he’s just like that.”
7. He was so sad, he used to shudder when I’d touch his shoulder. I was always scared to let my hand linger for fear he’d fall to pieces.
8. I should have known he wouldn’t call me back when he didn’t ask for my last name. Because of him, I dream about a stranger cupping my chin as he undresses me in a bedroom I don’t recognize.
9. I don’t know if it’s harder to believe that he used his sadness as a tool, knowing if I pitied him, I would be less likely to push you off when you kissed me, or that it worked.
10. I fucked myself harder than he ever did.