By Joy Elizabeth

"I kinda always knew I'd end up your ex-girlfriend
I hope I hold a special place with the rest of them
And you know it makes me sick to be on that list
But I should have thought of that before we kissed."
-No Doubt, "Ex-Girlfriend"

I'm worried about my hair. Isabel said that this would be okay, that everyone would think that they were extensions. That no one would know that she had done this in a moment of reckless abandon on both of our parts.

But she wanted to do something nice for me. And I wanted to let her. So she asked what she could do. And I thought about it for a second and then I said, "Make my hair look like yours."

She smiled and touched my hair, really gently. And I started to feel this glow going through me. I felt sort of like Rapunzel. Like this was going to end my prison sentence.

I wonder if Isabel knows why I picked her hair. Why I didn't say her eyes or her smile or her chest. Cause an ordinary girl would certainly have said her chest. But I wanted to know what it was like to have hair cascading around me. I wanted to know what it felt like to pull my hair back into a long ponytail.

And I wanted to be Isabel.

The easiest way to pretend to be her is to look like her. Isabel is defined by her long, blonde hair. Now I am too.

But I'm worried that she'll figure out why I want to look like her. Why I've been letting her come to me and hold me and kiss me. What all of this has to do with Michael.

She's a lot like Michael. She pulls me into dark rooms to kiss me. She waits until we are all alone to act as though I am alive. She kisses like Michael too. Hard and furious, as though life as we know it is about to end.

I wonder what it says about me that I'm the type of girl who gets pulled into dark rooms to have the breath kissed out of her by aliens?

And, just like Michael, Isabel ignores me. She pretends that I don't exist most of the time. Sometimes she smiles at me when she thinks that no one is looking, with a look in her eye saying, we have a secret.

It's a sad little secret. Because I know that this is going to end in the same way as the thing with Michael did. She's going to protect me and push me away.

Or maybe I just hope it ends that way. Having your heart broken by someone who loves you too much really isn't all that bad. Things could be worse. She could say that it was all a mistake, that she was acting on some impulse that wasn't real. She could stop looking at me the way that she does. I don't know what it's like to be dumped by someone because their feelings for you have changed.

But for now, she wants me. I can see into her like she sees into me. I don't know how I do it, but I do. I know that she is scared. She is scared of me, of feeling the way that she does. She is scared that she is using me as her sanity. She is scared that she is feeling things for me because she doesn't want to feel them for Michael.

I'm feeling things for her that have nothing to do with Michael. And I'm feeling things for her that have everything to do with Michael. I want her for myself. But I want her because she is his. I want to hold her because he can't. Or won't. Because they both screwed up and now they just keep using me because they don't know what else to do.

She can see my thoughts, my dreams. She knows all of this. She knows that we are all hurting each other. But we don't know what else to do.

So she keeps coming to me, filling my mouth with hers and letting me see into her soul. Letting me learn how to be her. Either we all share, or one of us wins.

So she made my hair long. She's started to laugh a little like me, in a high voice. She is the only person who can understand what it's like to be me, to be abandoned by everyone and hang on to the few people who are left. She idolizes me for doing it for so long. I idolize her for doing it so well.

We are two halves of the same coin. One alien, one human. Night and day. One completes the other.


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