My arm burned as I walked away. Walked away like the good man I wanted to be. The good man I had to be.
I didn't ask for this. I don't need it and I don't want it.
But I have it. I have this feeling in my chest, burning at my eyes. I have this overwhelming and all-consuming jealousy. I have this undying love for her. And this tattoo on my arm.
Like it decided my fate for me.
See? It's not my choice. It's something sewn into my skin with the ink of a father's undying loyalty to the girl who deserves every drop of it. I'm marked—it's who I am.
But it seems now, I'm marked for nothing but an everlasting loneliness.
Before, I took this tattoo as a comfort. That she was always with me when I went to bed alone, when I woke up alone, ate breakfast alone, drove to work alone. I always had her there, by my side. Or, well, on my side. The side of my left arm.
But now it's just another reminder that she's not thinking of me at all. I see her face and name and my eternal commitment to her whenever I look in the mirror and all I can think about is the fact that they are probably together. Right then.
My arm would hurt and I would keep brushing my teeth, attempting to ignore it. Because I needed to. Because I don't want this. I don't need this.
It's been over for a long time.
But I suppose that my only choice is the former of the options I told Sweets. I'll just cower away. Hide. Die a little every time I see them.
And then I'll smile, because that's who I want to be. Who I need to be.
It hurts. God, it hurts. Like you can't imagine. And when I try to laugh my way through it by pretending to blow his head off, it only makes it worse. Because time is the only thing that will heal me. Cure me. Save me.
I don't want to love her anymore. Not when neither of us wants it or needs it.
But it's like I said: I don't have a choice. It's who I am. It's a part of me now. And it always will be.
And the only thing I can do is burry this love in a deep, dark hole and hope she never finds it. Because though I am a jealous man, I don't want to be. And though I love her, I know she has the right to love someone else without guilt. Without shame. Without me smiling at her from her left shoulder.
Now wouldn't that be something.
My arm burned as I walked away. I ignored it, but loved the pain all the same.
I loved her, and she loved me.
That's more than I thought I'd ever have.
And even if I can't have her, I'll always have her smile. At least with me, she'll always be happy. And though that's not enough, though I feel emptier than I did to begin with, though the tears are scratching at the backs of my eyes, dying to be freed…it's still something.
I don't need it. I don't want it. But it's there all the same. It's sewn into my skin. Into who I am.