How to Disappear

An instruction manual on how to completely vanish from the face of the earth, and to in turn lose who you are as a person.

Step 1:
Find a boy who reminds you of springtime. Make sure his smile is brighter than the campfire you sat beside, holding his hand. He must have eyes that show you a timeline of being with him that stretches on forever, past infinity and into whatever lies beyond our galaxy. You must find this boy, and you must tell yourself repetitively not to love him.

Step 2:
Fall in love with him. Fall in love with the tilt of his head when you ask him a question and take him by surprise. Fall in love with the way he mumbles into your collarbone and the way he tells you there isn’t a single part of you that isn’t beautiful. Fall in love with his early morning laziness and the curve of his jawline and the way your body fits against his like you are both the missing puzzle pieces you never knew the other one needed.

Step 3:
Let him consume you. Think about him every second of the day. Think about the way he laughs like a seven year old opening his birthday gifts. Think about the way he tracks love on your skin with his lips as he spells your name over and over and over again on your arms. Learn to miss his absence more than you enjoy his presence. Breath in his cologne every time he kisses you and drink him in like the tea he makes for you when he knows you’re sad. Let your mind wander when you’re alone to all those times he said he would text you and wouldn’t, but go no further in this step.

Step 4:
Befriend that thing you had thought you had abandoned long ago: anxiety. Let it whisper in your ear and let it tickle your mind. Begin to have night terrors painted with his face thanks to your old friend. Begin to feel unsafe even when he’s beside you. Question whether or not he is worth it. Think about what you believe to be the inevitable: his abandonment.

Step 5:
On the day you find out about her, do not cry. You will want to, believe me. You will want to call her every name in the goddamn book, and you probably will, but do not cry. Do not think about his arms embracing her body. Do not think about the way he says her name softly, like a prayer. Do not imagine them making love on the pillow you kissed each night you lay in his room. Do not cry.

Step 6:
Forgive him. Forgive him because it’s all somehow your fault. You don’t know why he’s crying and promising he can change because you don’t want him to. Let him lay his head in your lap and tell him it’s all going to be okay. Love him even harder, because it’s the only thing you know how to do.

Step 7:
On the day he finally leaves you, cry. Think about everything you promised yourself you wouldn’t think about and let him walk away with the promise of being friends on his lips. You’re going to want to believe this boy, who once reminded you of springtime but now reminds you of winter, because he’s always broken those promises so beautifully before. But don’t believe him. He will not text. He will not call. He will not care.

Step 8:
Feel yourself start to vanish. It begins when you forget how to smile at strangers on the street. Then, you’ll forget to smile to your friends, who, after a while, can’t understand why you’re still heartbroken. Break your trust with everyone you know and forget about making plans or hanging out because you just fucking can’t. Feel your arms go. Then your legs. Then your mind. You will come to realize that your heart will not vanish with the rest of yourself; it left the moment he walked away from you.

Step 9:
You will kiss other boys and imagine they taste like him. You will visit old places you used to go with him. You will look up at the goddamn stars and spit in the grass at your feet and mutter bitterly that yes, it is nice being fucking stardust.

Step 10:
You already lost yourself, darling. You lost yourself in losing him.


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