When you find yourself falling in love with a scarred tight-lipped boy, hug him. Chances are, his heart still has small cracks in it even after all the breaking and gluing and breaking and gluing. Some parts of it may have fallen out in the park,
the sidewalk where he got dumped, and afterwards, it was too much to go back to those places, so just hug him.
Also kiss him. Kiss him gently on the shoulders, and inhale the earthly scent of his soft black hair. Let your hand wander through the bruises and cuts not excepting the invisible ones
because even if he doesn’t say it out loud, they still hurt some times. They say time is the best healer, well, maybe it hasn’t been enough time, not yet.
Nod. Nod when he’s asking you for the hundredth time if he’s good enough for you, if you’re just playing a huge practical joke on him for dating him because there is a long history of ugly abusive remark of her “why are you never good enough?” behind his every hesitant “are you sure?”
And please, please be patient when he pulls away. Love is a constant tuck of the tide, a game of push and pull. And this tight lipped, shy-eyed boy has pushed himself too far once upon a time in the past.
Pass pass pass the cliff edge, and straight into the whirling waterfall of regrets and self-doubts.
Give him space to gather his sense of self once in a while because after her, he’s spent months after months gathering the broken pieces- those dejected, crushed pieces of himself lying around everywhere she’s asked, “Why are you like this?”, and every time she insulted his efforts to shine for her.
And understand that for years, this sense of self was probably all that he has left.
Most importantly, smile. Smile especially when he’s stuttering, trying to explain the reasons behind his 5-minute lateness, or when he adamantly refuses to sing along to his favorite song blasting from the car radio because behind every little self-conscious fear of his is countless strings of belittlement and ridicule from his ex.
He may have said he’s gotten over her.
And that’s probably true.
But poison leaves scars
even long after it’s been removed.