If you choose to love a girl who does not believe herself worth loving, be warned: she does not take well to being proved wrong. In fact she will fight against the very idea of your affection during all the hours you two are apart, during the year-long minutes that your adoring eyes are not there to reassure her it’s real, to tell her the hand holding hers does not mean to evaporate and that story the two of you have begun does not end with a punch line.
If you choose to know this girl, you will discover that she has scars. She’ll try and hide them from you, but you’ll be able to see them by the shyness of her teeth, by the way her smile fidgets like anxiety in a crowd, by the litany self-deprivating jokes she lets fall from her lips. She’ll run over her flaws like rosary beads, believe in them the way Job believed in God: with a hate so reassuring he mistook it for love. But try and confront her about this and I guarantee you she’ll laugh. She knows better than to talk religion.
If you make it past the scars, past the lines that sliced to the heart of so many matters, you’ll find her bones. Not as far beneath the flesh as they should be, each one is stuffed with the marrow of self-doubt, with a self-worth so hollow it’s a wonder they don’t crack from the weight of the bags under her eyes, from the expectations she endlessly heaps upon her shoulders. Mind these bones well: it’s all too easy to get a razorblade to the back as you try to cuddle her, to cut yourself on her knives of hip bones as you try and make love. Her ribs will scream at you as she stretches. She will not mind if you play them like a xylophone. Number them like stars, settle your chin in the well of her collarbone, fill up her concave stomach with compliments she’ll never quite believe. God knows she needs some sort of sustenance just as you know she won’t be the one to give it to her.
Most importantly, if you choose to love a girl like this, one who refuses to ever wear the crowning title of ‘Beautiful,’ know she loves you back. Know her disbelief of your words is not a lack of trust, that her dismissal of your calligraphied professions is not due to a lack of appreciation of your work. You see, she’s already heard so many statements contrary to yours that she just can’t change. The shackles on her mind have been there so long she thinks they’re comfortable. You’re offering her an ocean of love but no one has ever taught her how to swim. So you must keep trying. You must coax her teeth out of their hiding place, must ease her smile’s anxiety with your own. You need to hold her close despite all of her jagged edges and kiss her lips to stop that God-awful litany. You need to show her that thinking she is worthy of your love does not prove her wrong.
It proves wrong the monsters who made her that way.