By Ashley Larson, TIWP Student

life is solitaire.
ace. i wish i was your ace.
diamond. i have to look beautiful.
and heart. my heart…

you never truly realized i was ever here, did you? i mean, i am just a solitary human being, why should you have noticed me? i watched you grow and get older alongside me but you never really saw me. you had so many burdens to carry but you never realized what a hardship was because i was carrying all of them for you. yet you threw around your hardships like you threw around mindless words. i am solitary. a fan in your crowd. not the ace of hearts in your deck of red cards.

life is solitaire.
three, i am not another member in your family of four.
two, i am not your second choice.
one, i’m not even the one so why do i try…

I remember that one day i tried to teach you how to play cards with my favorite black deck. you slipped a card into my blue jean shorts back right pocket, but i never noticed. we kept playing and you acted as if you had no idea how some things never seemed to add up in our little game. some things still don’t add up. after you shut the wooden door with a soft slam, i reached into my pocket and your card fell out. the ace of hearts with a lopsided heart drawn in black sharpie in the top right corner with our initials inside the never-ending space. that fixed the deck didn’t it? maybe, but it never did fix the hand i was dealt. i’m not your ace. the heart was lopsided because that’s what our past was and i surely was never as permanent to you as that sharpie marker said i was. i am solitary. a thought in that beautiful brain of yours. not the ace of hearts in your deck of red cards.

life is solitaire.
king. i tried to treat you like one.
queen. as far as i’m concerned, not me.
jack. shit.

when i met you, we were equally as human as the next, but that changed. you rose and i fell. you float and i sink. opposites attract, right? at least that’s always what you used to tell me. that’s what everyone used to tell me.

“don’t ruin your life. you can live in mine. opposites attract.”

“i’m so lucky that we’re so different and so lucky.”

you thought it was luck that kept us together but you can’t bet your earnings on something nonexistent now, can you? and that’s where i went wrong. maybe i thought, out of luck, you would bring me back up. but no. you used to tell me i mattered more than anything, until you started to put everything else first. you stopped caring and you would never admit it but you did and you always will stop caring. jack. shit. i am your jack shit, my king, and i cant wait someday to meet your lovely queen, the one with the long brunette hair with those swept-right side bangs. remember that one you described to me on the brown couch one night as a tear started to gather in my left eye but you thought it was just the glare of the light outside your room as we moved closer together in the darkness under the sheets? and how you described her as someone that you could fall for upon first glance, a look-over-your-shoulder type of woman, the one with those green eyes that pulled you in and locked you, the one with the legs that shone brighter than the sun and a smile full of pearls. her. and that’s when i noticed that your perfection is not me. that she is not me. that i am not meant for you. that i am solitary. a drop of blood in your circulatory system. not the ace of hearts in your deck of red cards.

life is solitaire.
score. i wasn’t your final score.
pattern. i found your type.
ace. i wish i was your ace.

i am solitary. two minutes and twenty four, twenty five, twenty six seconds, and i become even more solitaire by the second.

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