Standing so close to the edge that you can almost feel the smooth pavement on the other side of disaster.
From this point on, there will be no going back. You are so close to freedom, to a new beginning; his grasp is almost gone. Slowly, you begin to look up for the first time in what seems like months. Until now, you have been too afraid of looking up, too afraid to focus on anything other than the ground below you and your next step. All it takes is one misguided glance backwards, one ounce of “I miss you” to turn you around and throw you back into his “love” forever.
But was it really “love?” you begin to wonder as your eyes move frightfully upwards towards your new horizon, your new home. Quickly, your eyes dart back down as your mind reels with the whirlwind of emotions associated with this so-called “love.” If it was “love,” would it have hurt this badly? Would I have felt this empty, this alone, this lost? Counting the hours, the minutes, the seconds until you’d speak to me again. Driving myself insane just to hear your voice. Is this love? This desperate, clinging need for validation from another human being? Is putting yourself down, casting your needs aside, and walking on eggshells all a part of this beautiful disaster we call romance?
It can’t be.
Fairytales aren’t real, but neither are we.
No. You will not lose sight of what could be. You have come too far, too close to a new beginning to change your mind now. Be strong, they say. Just don’t talk to him. Eyes up, feet forward. Pick one up, then the other. Left, right, right , left. But if this isn’t right then what does that even mean is left? Nothing. Until you start over. After what seems like ages, you manage to raise one eye up, up to where you believe (where they tell you) everything will be better. Where The One is supposedly waiting.
(The Few. The Many. The Heart-Broken.)
As if some inanimate being is waiting to be activated, brought to life by the turn of the key you supposedly hold. Wind-up dolls waiting in the toy box to be admired, cherished, loved. You can only be played with for so long before they get bored. Tarnished, damaged, and worn.
Who could love you again?
And then you see it. Glinting in the horizon, there he stands: hope. Who would have expected hope to look this way? So normal, so calm, so human. Just standing there, comfortably. The epitome of casual. Take your time, he seems to say. I’m always going to be here.
I can’t breathe.
Is this excitement? Dread? Fear. Arousal? Death. It’s most certainly. Death?
You cannot feel your feet anymore as they mechanically float over the cracks and crevices that used to catch you in a panic and cause the anxiety to seep out of you. Try to stop me now, fool! I’ve found something better. Someone better. Someone that gets me. Gets my ebbs and flows and embraces them, rather than shoving me in, face first.
Come to me.
It can’t be.
I was so close.
You’re not really there! You scream, but it’s useless. You already see them coming. The roots, the vines, the spikes that snarl and hiss at you, over and over again. We’re here for you. You know us. You love us. I love you.
You start running faster, faster, faster. Icarus has nothing on you.
Suddenly, you’re there: teetering on the edge of hope and disaster. There stands hope, just steps away from you, holding out his hand, just waiting for you to leave it all behind and just come along. Just come along. You deserve this.
You deserve nothing.
Down. Crashing to the ground. It’s over, you’re over. They have you. You’re his. And he unfortunately, is yours. Bleeding, crying, tears trickling down your cheeks. This can’t be it. This can’t be the end. You were so close. You were so close, you whisper to yourself as you crawl with a delicate violence reserved only for times as desperate as these.
He has you. No. He doesn’t. He can’t. I am not yours. I am not his. I am not mine. I do not belong on this earth, you scream as a vine ensnares you. Come to me,
You gasp. A thorn digs into your ankle, draining you of your independence.
You look up. hope is still there, waiting. Just as he promised. Hand out-stretched, just waiting for you make the right decision.
But what if I make the left decision?
I left? You whisper quielty to yourself.
No, you are right. He left.
He left you.
Gasping for air. Choking on his nonchalant arrogance and bullshit.
This is bullshit.
You stand back up. This is not how it’s going to end.
Slowly, you drag yourself back to the edge. You make eye contact with hope and wince as more thorns pierce you, slowly draining all that is you, all that you have regained back out. You almost fall down again, but then you remember.
Fingertips touch as you reach out towards hope, flailing into what you believe will be better, what you know has to be better. It can get better. It will get better. It must. It has to.
You’re down again. You try desperately to grasp on to hope’s fingers, but he just stands there, waiting. I’ll be here, waiting. Just take your time, he says. There is no time, can’t you see? It’s now or never.
No, it’s not.
I’ll be here waiting.
Crying and choking on your own failure, you writhe in pain as the thorns pierce you, over and over again.
You’re done for.
Finally, with one last desperate plea to hope to do something, ANYTHING to save you, you realize:
hope isn’t going to save you.
hope will always be there, waiting for you.
But hope can’t save you.
(No one can save you but you.)
(But you won’t accept that part of the equation.)
False. I am alone.
This is my fate.
You are my fate.
You are mine.
This is why I can’t get out.