did you know Brooklyn is dutch for “broken valley” ?

did you know I never learned to swim?
or that I quit piano lessons before the teacher could say I was no good?
did you know in kindergarten I told everyone my middle name was Elizabeth, because I was too embarrassed of my real one?
did you know I tried to tell the nurse I had pink eye because I didn’t want to count to 100 in front of the rest of the class?
or that when I was five I was tricked into playing a “game” where the goal was to be suffocated?
did you know that was the last time my brother let me “hangout” with him?

did you know I would cry every time my mother told me she loved me, because she would end it with, “I would take a bullet for you.” and I refused to accept her mortality?
or that I have a weird bump on my head from when my dad accidentally closed a car trunk on it when I was eight?
did you know I received the Scholars Award every year until high school?
or that I received only one detention in my entire life, and it was given to me by my own mother?

did you know I could play the clarinet?
or that I was in band for two years before I realised I didn’t like music?
did you know that I was the reason Mr. Clauser made the rule of “No students behind my desk” because I threw up on his computer?
did you know that I was called to the office because a girl told them I wasn’t eating?
or that the counselor was concerned I was only eating cotton balls?
did you know I was a cheerleader?
or that I was only on the track team for three days?
did you know I cut my foot playing in a dirty ass creek I shouldn’t have been in to begin with?
or that I jumped off the train trestles and that’s when I decided I wasn’t afraid anymore?

did you know that when I first got my license, I would drive to the cemetery and spend hours visiting graves?
or that I started doing this because I got lost trying to find my niece’s grave, but found that I was less anxious when sitting in the cemetery alone?
did you know I spent every lunch with my chemistry teacher because I didn’t have friends and I didn’t want to go home to an empty house?

did you know I was twelve when I decided I never wanted to have kids?
or that I was eighteen when I found out that I could never have them?
did you know that it took six months for me to finally sleep with my boyfriend for the first time?
or that I didn’t talk to him for two weeks afterwards?
did you know the first time I got drunk was the night of project graduation?
or the reason was because of Him?
did you know that night I finished a bottle of captain in thirty minutes and spent the next four hours throwing up?
or that I thought the boy taking care of me was just trying to be nice, when in reality he just wanted to fuck me?
did you know two months later I let Him break me again?
or that a girl wanted to fight me, because she fucked my boyfriend while we were together, and I called her desperate and pathetic?

did you know I almost slept with one of His roommates to get back at Him, but chickened out at the last minute?
thank god I did, or He wouldn’t have been able to break me for the fourth time.
did you know that I let myself be broken, torn down, and ruined by a lot of people? more people than I ever want to admit aloud.
did you know I had a male roommate once, and after an incident on family game night, I never left my bedroom door unlocked?
did you know that I’m not as innocent as you think?
or that I’ve learned more about you than you will ever try to learn about me?

– excerpt from a book I’ll never write
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