By: Ashley Ballard

August has forever changed my life.

I met you three days before my Mother’s birthday. August 26th. It was a Wednesday night. All of the other crushes I’ve had before you will never amount to how you made me feel.

It is late at night and I’m driving to come see you, ignoring all the audible voices that are telling me this might not be the best idea. 

It is midnight and I’m in your house, you are a stranger and I’m unaware that my innocence will soon be gone. You will be a stranger no more.

You let me know how disgusting I am when your hands are wrapped around my neck, your fingers

they leave bruises along my throat, a sign showing that once was mine was now yours. 

I thought you were just joking all the times you said no

are the words you said to me when you noticed the blood on the sheets and the tears that stained the pillow you once held over my face.


October came not long after August. I spent Halloween with you and had never wanted to belong as much as I did in that day. 

I told you about August and you told me you didn’t see me as a victim

I’m not sure how you didn’t.

We had to have a safe word because I made you nervous.

You never knew but

I was never safe, not from him or from you. The word was more security for you.

I had spent so much time on the couch your grandma gave you I tried convincing myself that it was a safe place, I built a home out of you.

You never noticed that I noticed all the times we were in bed and you were talking to all the others that took my place when I wasn’t there. 

I built a home out of you that was supposed to be safe

there is nothing safe about unprotected sex with someone who isn’t only sleeping with you.

In December you went home. You called me late at night when you were leaving a bar, you referred to me as your girlfriend by accident. You didn’t talk to me for a week after that.

It’s Thanksgiving and I’m thankful for you. It’s a day after Thanksgiving, the reminder that my brother is still dead. You’re mad because I didn’t think a joke you made was funny. You told me to talk to you again once I stop acting like a shitty middle schooler. I bring you chai so you’ll forgive me.  

I built a home out of you that was supposed to be safe,

I’m not sure when I started drinking the bottles of wine by myself on your grandma’s couch. 

It’s New Years and we’re fighting. I think we’re always fighting. You talk about how you treat women differently now. I built a home out of you and you tell me I can move in. I ask if you will stop sleeping with everyone else, you tell me no. You treat women differently, now. It’s okay because you don’t have feelings for any of us.

It’s January and I’m not speaking to you for the first half of the month. 

It’s February and three a.m. and I am no longer welcome in the home I built out of you. One of the last things I have said to you is 

I’m afraid to lose you.

You don’t know this


the only other person I have ever said that to you is my dead brother.

You both have something in common, you both left. 

You write songs about your dad and how he taught you you can always fill the empty side of your bed

that is what you’ve went and done.

It’s March and I’m as stable as the weather, though I think I’m getting better. I’m wrapped up in months that meant everything to me but nothing to either of you. August took away my safety and October has my heart. I’m not sure I’ll get either back.


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