Enemy ★★★★★

Would you like to get to know me?

My name is Kinsey. I am twenty two years old. I was born in Texas and I grew up in Australia.

I moved to Australia when I was 12. I have spent more of my life in Houston than in the entire continent of Australia. I do not have an accent. I tell men old enough to be my father that my name is Leigh.

I am very close with my father.

When I was 14, I borrowed my dad's phone and saw romantic messages between him and a woman I did not know. He knew I saw them. He said nothing. I said nothing. My mother said nothing. Nothing has changed.

I love my mother.

I cannot imagine anything worse than becoming her.

I first fell in love at the age of 14.

Her name was Lucy. She had beautiful brown eyes that looked up at me with more affection than I had ever known. She held my hand as I cried after breaking up with the boy who had taken my innocence, my strength, my childhood.

He told me he loved me, too.

He told me he would take his life if I did not say it back, if I did not do what he asked. So I did. Until the day I didn't, and I told him to take it, I didn't care anymore, and he tried, but he failed, and everyone including me blamed myself.

That was my first real relationship.

The next one was a boy who pulled the same stunt. He tried pills instead of a bridge. He failed, too. We still talk.

I'm not very pretty.

I'm okay. Not great. Not at all photogenic. Just fine. After my first boyfriend and I broke up, I spent months receiving edited pictures of myself that pointed out every feature that wasn't perfect. Nothing about me is perfect. I'm human.

I've only been loved once.

He is my best friend. I loved him, too. He let me be someone other than myself then still loved me when I came back to him. He let me be crazy. He was too good for me. He still is. Only one thing, only one person, has never betrayed me, has never hurt me, has never made me feel as though I am something other than who I am and has loved me for who I was. Only one thing in my life has ever felt real. I still dream about him.

Half of my audience thinks I'm a virgin; the other half believes I'm a whore.

If I'm being honest with you, I don't know which one I am. I know that doesn't make sense. It's the truth.

My parents love me.

My parents would not go to my wedding if I committed my life to her.

My parents know me.

If I am not the person they say I am, they tell me why I am wrong. They have chased out every person in my life. They read my messages, know my secrets, judge my thoughts. There is no escape. There is no fear.

I am an introvert.

People always disappoint me. I would rather be lonely than disappointed. I have far more experience sleeping on my own.

I am real.

I don't remember most of the last fifteen months. I cannot cry for longer than two seconds. My heart is shattered and I do not know how to care. He's sleeping with someone else. I laughed. I don't even want him. He's static, unintelligent, dull. I don't love him. But I told everyone I did. Maybe I do. Maybe that's why I care that he's sleeping with someone else. Maybe I just want to be the one with more. I don't want him. I want to be him. He's free in a way I'll never know because the only pain he knows is heartbreak.

I am happy.

I'm not sure that I've ever felt peace, although I couldn't tell you when that began, because I can trace back the trauma but I craved validation for destruction long before I lost it all. It was for attention. The worst thing I can imagine is to not be thought of at all.

I am in pain.

This isn't quite accurate, either. To feel pain would mean to feel. I talk a lot about feeling for someone who cannot seem to do it for longer than it takes to write the emotions down.

I know who I am.

I don't know what is a performance and what is the truth. Who is my smile for? My tears? My words? I'm so deeply ingrained in a caricature of myself that I do not even know who I have lost.

I love to be hurt when I'm loved.

The last guy who kissed me hurt me in sunlight but loved me with the lights off. I have never been treated with respect before. I liked it. I told him I didn't. He knew I was lying. So he hurt me in ways I couldn't anticipate, but he doesn't realise I want to be hurt this way, I want to feel pain, I want to feel anything for longer than it takes to fall asleep, so I let him destroy me and turn it into art.

I hate myself.

Only when I remember I exist in the realities of others.

I hate everyone else.

When I attempt to form bonds with people who have lived in bliss, who have had it easy, I find myself bitter at their ability to thrive on conversations surrounding weddings, clothing, school. How are you not spending every minute alive wondering why we suffer just to die?

There is not enough time to be everything I want to be.

Tonight, I will fall in love with a pregnant wife. Tomorrow, I will fuck a widow with jet black eyes. One will not remember the other because the only way to survive is to forget. Forget the joy, the pain, the numbness, the life. I don't know who I am. I don't know who I want to be. All I know is I don't want to be forgotten by everyone else but I pray to God that I never remember myself. I don't want to know what I said last night. Please don't remind me. It will kill me to find myself inside.

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