Dude, I used to be so insecure

“Dude, I used to be so insecure,” she laughed as she glanced over my shoulder. I stood upright and placed the photograph back against her fridge, pinning it with a crack of the magnet greedily yearning for the steel surface. She looked young then: brown eyes looking almost red against the black mascara, her lips pulled taut over the texture of the braces underneath. Dark, thick, sideswept bangs timestamped the photo as a relic of 2009. Classically beautiful, even back then.

She went on about the photograph, describing her fight with her brother that day and how her mom had forced them to pose together and smile. How grateful she was for her mother’s insistence on creating that moment. How she doesn’t see them much anymore, how she should give them a call. I studied her face as she spoke, a naked one that was intentionally – almost politically – free of makeup. I hadn’t seen mascara on her in years. Classically beautiful, still.

“Used to be” was the phrase she used, and I drank it in undoubtingly. Her way of speaking always convinced me of everything she said, like she could access some eternal truth that others couldn’t. The boring reality was that she needed someone who followed, and I needed someone who asserted. We just so happened to find each other at the right time – or maybe the wrong time, depending on your perspective. There was no eternal truth to be uncovered.

to be continued <3