She sits with her back against the wall, inhaling in air like it’s smoke, looks up at the ceiling like it’s the night sky, filled with stars and an absent moon, hidden behind the black clouds, pauses and says,
“I ran into someone I thought I had forgotten. I thought I had forgotten their eyes, someone I thought I once loved with everything I had in me, but it was all for naught, I ran…and ran, and ran and tried to hide when I saw them. I thought I was strong, but life is stronger, and fate is stronger still. When does it all end? The pain in my heart? In my lungs? In the pit of my stomach? In their eyes? In all our lives?”
I did not what to say, so I let us breathe in the silence, but this silence wasn’t empty or heavy or awkward, it was filled with her unsaid grief, her loss, the pain in her bones, in her eyes, in her trembling knees.
It was hard to breathe so I opened the door she slammed and locked in a hurry when she entered the room, like her sadness and her past were chasing her through the streets,
She collapsed on her knees when the room went dark, no more witnesses to watch her being vulnerable,
I wonder to myself, as I look at her, still staring at the night sky ceiling, how she managed to stay alive when life got too tough for her,
Disappointed and scared, she appears to be with herself for protecting her mind from all the people who threatened it with their words, unkept promises, and lies.
I wish I could explain to her there is no cowerdice in wanting to stay alive,
But I know, deep in my heart, that my words will not move her heart, but only move her to tears,
“I saw a boy earlier today,” she says, still staring at this world in her mind, “and he was running from something he couldn’t see, or maybe towards something he wanted to protect from what was chasing him, I wished it was a ghost, maybe he wished the same, running from people is much easier, you can outrun them, but the sense of longing they create in you, the ghosts, is hard to outrun, that feeling follows you everywhere, like a lost child in a street fair.”
She turned to me and asked, “Have you ever still loved someone who hurt you?” And I shook my head, I did not want to tell her I have never loved anybody, and she smiled so sadly and said, “Then count your blessings, because it’s one of the worst feelings in the world.”