you didn't love her.
the only movie you watched that ever stuck with you was 500 days of summer, and when she asked you to carry her over the rush of the creek that way that summer would have, you did. you never knew what it was that attracted you to that movie, or the idea of loving a girl as much as the protagonist had, but you assumed it was something you should do. you were young, anyways, and you were good looking, and she, among many, had dropped words in your hands, hoping you'd hold onto something. take it somewhere, ask for more, take more, like you deserved. you don't know why you took more from her. maybe she looked best for the part. you don't really know.
she was happy, always. she listened to music, you knew; she wore her favorite bands like clothing, wore art in her denim and hair length, and maybe she was better looking with makeup on or off, but she looked like a project, color paper cut and placed over her body in haphazard precision. she was a doll, everyone said about her. she had tits, a decent size anyone did at your age. you didn't notice much else.
other boys loved her. you would watch them: her, dropping hints in your lap; them, dropping hints in their questions and small talk for her. she led all of them no where, and you watched, and they watched, and they all wanted to be led away.
so you decided to love her. because you could, and loving someone was an act of putting on shoes in the morning or slipping into an outfit after hours of being awake, something you did without realizing you were doing it, and you chose her to slip into. it didn't seem impossible.
she didn't wear herself like she did her clothing. you noticed it the first thing when she undressed herself, her back bent like a wire cage: sides piercing through her pale skin, sickly hung like a need to be held in place. her tits were light, and her mouth was unmoving, as if caught on something painful, and she would trace it over all the wrong places, blindly, unsure, unsteady. you were patient. you fucked her, lying on her back. she said that she loved you, and her hair was tangled in your hand, and she was moaning, and you noticed her hair was not naturally brown at all, but blonde, and it seeped out of her scalp like skin, extra skin, and she looked like a child beneath you. she was a child.
poets talk of women like glass dolls or delicate flowers. but you knew she was a body, a heavy body with bones, and her skin had taste, and her words weight, and she said things so damn often it was impossible to get it up at all, eventually.
six months of walking around with her tied to your hand, and you eventually had to turn off the lights when you fucked her. you imagined summer beneath you. you never knew why you liked summer, but that seemed like the girl to love, and she was so easy to love, and the girl you chose was letting her blonde grow over the brown, and you were noticing her teeth more, and you were noticing the way her skin hung around her eyes, and eventually the light wasn't enough to turn it off, the body beneath you: always there, consuming, fighting to be seen and heard. i love you, i love you.
you left her. you didn't love her.
by the end of summer her hair was blonde. you didn't really notice how she stopped looking like the girl you always wanted. you looked elsewhere, at the brunettes, and their skin, white as milk, asking to be downed; their cheeks pallid and their laughs tugging and their scents store-bought. so easy to love, the body in your bed months ago dissembled, a lie. she wasn't lovable at all. it was something in her workings, like her height and the way she talked about trite things and the way she attempted to be beautiful when she wasn't.
you tried to love her. you held her when she asked. you put your arm behind her in the movies and you kissed her colored lips when it felt right. you took her home, you stayed too long, you stayed longer than that, and you tried staying up all night and answering the questions and listening to her own answers, the ones she had thought you asked her, but hadn't at all. you shared music she thought you liked and you took her to dances and out to dinner and went into the city and pointed at buildings and sat in the square, watching the night fall away into morning. you did it all. but you couldn't love her.