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I loved you because you never killed bugs. You couldn’t stand them, yet when a fly buzzed around our kitchen, you only watched before I slapped it against the wall. I asked you why you did nothing and you said it was because you didn’t like the idea of hurting something alive. You smiled again, and I realized it was the first real smile I ever saw from you.

I didn’t say anything after that because you never killed me.

You cut my hair because your scissors were too blunt to cut through skin. You threw my makeup away because I looked prettier when my cheeks turned purple from your fist. You poured words that tasted like poison down my throat and warned me not to burn my tongue. Like it was honey.

Yet when I wanted to die, when I really thought I would, you looked down at me with a smile dancing across your lips. I asked you why you didn’t kill me, and you said it was because I was still alive.

I remembered then, how you hated bugs. And that the first time you smiled for real was when the bug died.   

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