Your eyes meet mine. Blue versus grey. Life versus lifeless. Life versus nothing. You in a nutshell – all or nothing. Your mouth moves but you don’t speak, the empty words flutter about in the stale air and pop like balloons and I don’t hear them. I don’t have to hear them to know what they are about. Lies, meant to make me feel better, spoken in the careless, nonchalant way that you always talk about your day as if it was the most mundane day in the history of ever. Little white lies to cover the big black hole.
I remember dark, cold early mornings, your trembling body pressed to my back, your desperate hands clawing at my skin, your terrified breath in my neck. You never meant to wake me but you always did. You needed me. Now I wake up to an empty bed, sheets still warm and damp where you used to be, moments ago, alone with your demons, fighting them on your own. Sometimes I admire your bravery, other times I hate you for it.
Drowning in the fire of your own personal hell, you look at me with those eyes and tell me that you’re happy. Behind the blue I can see the fires burning. Sometimes I think I can hear all of your silent screams in the background when you speak about work, the dogs, what you want for dinner, the shopping list. Sometimes I want to take your hand and look at the old scars on your wrist and ask if you still think about them. Because I do.
Your body is strained from the pressure you’re always under. The weight of the world, the weight of your fears, and the weight of me. You’re always climbing an unending mountain, always running against the storm, always engaged in this perpetual fight, every second of every minute of every day. Your demons and mine.
I look into your eyes and I wonder if it’s me. If it’s me that is the demon you’re running away from this time. I’m boring, I’m selfish, I’m ugly and I’m old- I’m everything that you’re not. I can’t give you what you need because I’m a coward, I can’t protect you because I’m weak, I can only love you because you let me. I don’t know why you stay.
But then you smile and it’s still you.
You stopped talking. I forgot to listen, but I see you. The fire in your eyes burns and leaves more scars on my soul, but I wear them with pride. I don’t look away, because I can see you behind it all, and you’re still here.