They were your friends,
but not like the friends you have now.
Through them, you played out your insecurities.
Countless nights you spent,
chasing your demons away,
with alcohol and song.
Dancing on the rooftops,
‘Can I have this dance’
You would sing for them.
They would praise you for it.
(They would also talk about you
when you weren’t there).
Remember when you moved into your new flat?
You had been homeless for a month, or two.
You were so excited to pick up the keys.
You had no furniture, she had lots,
but she still took that cabinet you found
in the shop you both worked in.
Remember how, she would tell you
‘I don’t like that dress on you’
when she knew you felt so pretty
in your new clothes.
Remember how, when you left the house that day,
you had to return for your keys.
You heard ‘whoops, butter fingers!’
as they smashed your favourite mug.
The surprise on her face, as you came through the door.
Remember how she told you,
that she burnt holes in the clothes
of her last flat mate,
when she was jealous of what she wore.
Remember how when you moved out,
you found tiny holes in your favourite dress.
‘You must have done that with your cigarette
when you were drunk mate’
Remember when she got the keys to the shop.
You went in the middle of the night.
Dressed in black.
You stole a months worth of food.
She said it was like Christmas,
and you laughed.
The owners had called us ‘minions’
Remember how he taught you to cancel
the transactions from the till,
so that you could pocket the takings.
Remember how they came to your flat
in the middle of the night.
Pounding the door
in a drug induced rage.
You were terrified.
She made you a cup of tea,
to calm your nerves.
Remember when she stole that camera
from the bar you used to drink in.
You knew that was a step too far,
so you destroyed it, with water and salt.
You knew they were not your friends.
In a frenzy you stabbed at the innards,
determined she would not benefit
from someone else’s great loss.
But you didn’t have the backbone
to stop her, did you?
Remember when you were this person.
This wretched shell of hopelessness.
A drunken, mess of a girl.
This is who you were.
Those nights you spent,
shovelling cocaine up your nose.
Anything to forget,
anything to pretend
to be someone else,
other than you.
And when you look at yourself now,
don’t forget how far you have come.
You have left those days behind.
You have solid, decent, kind friends.
You are trustworthy.
You are dependable.
You give the best advice you can give
to anyone who needs your support.
People trust you,
People rely on you.
And it is always possible
to make a fresh start.
No matter who you are,
or what you did.
So never give up.
no face woman © 2017