I know you equate opening up with vulnerability.
I know this has been the result of years of keeping secrets close to your heart, and then pouring them all out, always in a glass that was too fragile to hold their weight. I know you feel naked after sharing your fears with someone, as if stripped of pieces of clothing covering your body. I know you prefer listening to others and being the shoulder to cry on because that makes you forget your own anxieties. I know you disguise your emotions as poetry written deceivingly in third person.
I have seen you apologise too many times for the occasional cracks that appeared in your shield. I have read the texts in which you emphasise again and again that you are fine… not sad, not anxious. I have counted the number of times you have hidden behind books go avoid people, especially the ones you opened up on a certain night as the clock ticked two. I have watched in silence as you have walked away softly, tip toing, like a morning dawn from people who weren’t afraid of staying.
I know you are afraid of patterns – you delete a song before it grows on you, you change the posters on your walls every month, you paint your phone cover with a different colour every fortnight. I have seen you laugh and claim that is the same with people – you walk away before they become a pattern.
But, hear me, sit down, stop moving so fast. I know you like to catch trains but I have seen you, looking back with the corner of your eye, hoping somebody would pull the chain. I hear the beating of your heart as you hope everytime you walk away that someone will call out your name. I know you like to take vacations as you are afraid to go back to a place that doesn’t feel
I know you because you are me. But hear me, remove the earphones, keep the books in your bag, look up. People aren’t patterns, or songs, or colours.
People are moments – don’t be afraid of moments when they seize you.
Don’t think, don’t overthink about words like forever because forever is a string of moments. Don’t walk away when you want to stay. Get off that train that takes you nowhere. Make yourself at home. Stay, stay for a cup of tea and then a little longer. Call on that number. Tell him how he makes you feel. And this time, don’t apologise.