It was awkward. I’m sure they wondered why I was there. I was lost and confused. I tried to at least act normal. My normal. I tried to be politely distant, but likely came off as mean and narcissistic. And then they left and it was easier. I didn’t have to pretend to feel okay. I didn’t have to pretend. Because I never felt more like me than I did when it was us. I had never felt more alive and loved and free.
But my emotions manifested themselves in the bile that built up in my throat, threatening to escape, as I listened to my heart breaking with the confirmation of what I already knew (but wanted to reject instead of accept).
It was a conversation I had played over and over again in my head, except that I didn’t realize how much physical pain words could actually cause (when spoken by someone so close to your heart.) None of it made any sense. The game of patient/caregiver we were playing seemed forced and rote.
– Here’s some water, here’s a blanket, are you sure I can’t get you anything else?
The voice inside me fought itself–You don’t owe him the luxury of feeling like he helped. You don’t need him, you don’t need this, quit playing this pitiful game. (But even if I was feeling okay, I’m not okay. I don’t want to leave because I know that this is it. This is all that I have left.)
Daggers were thrown with little bows on them, so carefully tossed out and wrapped as gifts. Their intent was not initially malicious, but daggers hanging in the air cannot be anything but malicious. Every time I moved or stood up, a fresh wound appeared. And it was too much to stay (but so sad to go). I had used up all my daggers, though, so it was truly time to go.
That last hug. It felt as though you wore a spiked plate of armor that tore into my insides as you held me in your embrace once more and rubbed my back. Not realizing the irony of your desire to take away my pain as you shredded my heart, my lungs. I wanted to hold on tighter and never let go, but the pain of the spikes only grew in intensity. Good luck. Good luck. Good luck.