I’ve lived a thousand lives. I’ve been the girl next door, the good girl, the object of a few rumors here and there, and finally, the horrible boss.

I can’t count on my fingers how many cities I’ve laid my head in, and I’ve seen so much of mankind that I’ve learned to cherish my solitude.

I’ve broken bread with the downtrodden, raised a glass with politicians, and been rescued by notorious mafiosos.

I’ve been coveted but unwanted—too agile, not fragile enough.

I’ve learned to fall in love and out of love in less time than it takes me to take off my panties.

I’ve been protected by men who were baffled that I wasn’t afraid of them.

I’ve smiled when the guests turned silently to look me over and the hosts whispered that they are always wary of the most innocent-looking one. And they confessed that they knew that my gaze could be a death sentence.

I’ve seen the man I’d have taken a bullet for put his eye to the gunsights.

And yet…

I am invisible to the eyes of the one who piques my curiosity, but strangers lick their lips when they see me on the street.

I’ve never been more wanted than I am in my absence, and never more ignored than I am in my presence.

I’ve waited for the one who was looking elsewhere, gone to bed with the one who had replaced me with another, spread my legs to keep the angry one from leaving.

I’ve longed to hold the hand of the one who would eventually betray me, then held my hand out to help him back to his feet.

Then Tinder finished me off.

I’ve read the profiles of men who were looking for a queen but wanted to make sure her Instagram had enough nudity to excite their libido.

I’ve fantasized about a man who had the total package—hot sex and a cerebral cortex—but who I wasn’t pretty enough for.

I’ve dismissed the ones who shamed me for not having had children. If they only knew…

If they only knew how I would laugh when they pissed their pants after hearing the smallest fraction of my story.

Finally, I’ve memorized both of the profiles of the one I loved too much and waited too long for, because when it comes to manipulation, the devil himself pales in comparison.

So I confided in my gangster. He took my face in his hands and told what I already knew: the worst betrayals never come from our enemies. My eyes met his and he wiped away my tears. He understood that my heart was under siege. Was he irritated with me? I’m afraid he was.

Yours truly,

Audrey Lisquit