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Soft Things, Hard Things – Damyanti Biswas

Breaking up with a guy is like holding an animal’s throat, snapping its neck. You get better at it, with time.

A smile is an invitation to amble over and make sleazy small talk, buy you a drink; taking you out must lead to making out. When you offer to go Dutch – let’s not talk about their faces when you say that.

When one of them makes all the right noises though, hits the right bases with you at right intervals, makes a girl feel special on a moonlit night, well, what then, when all you looking for is a turn on, a quick fuck to turn away from, but his doggone melty eyes do their number on you?

‘Not you, it’s me,’ you mouth the cliché. Let nobody tell you clichés hold no truth. Can’t say to him you don’t buy his ‘love’ crap, you seen your mother puking her guts way too many nights, held her hair, watched her use makeup to hide needle marks on her arm and bruises on her face, scraped dustbins so your sister could eat. Found one morning you’d slept holding her little body gone cold and hard. You tell him nothing; you tell nobody.

He says baby but, and you snap I know how, and he whines but surely, and let us, and why not, and that’s when you tell him it’s done, and adding a few cusswords you heard on the train at night, you tighten the turnbuckle on this rope gone slack between you. When he won’t let go, you take a hatchet to it, this softness. You lift that hatchet, show it to him, knowing all the while you’d do it on a dare. Please let him not dare you.

At night, on your pillow, you pretend it’s good for him what you done, it’s like muscles build the more you hurt them (all that lactic acid shit). That’s what you done for this sucker, broken his soul that bit. It would hurt less the next time; choose wiser than you.

Not because you like breaking things, (hell, who you kidding, maybe you do), but someone’s gotta do it, so why not you? Better bump off soft things: they don’t last. Mean nothing.

In the end, it’s not about happy or sad, girl. Those things don’t exist. Go on, walk one day after another, breaking what necks you must. His, yours, does not matter. Hold on to the hard things. All that matters is the softness within you.