CW/TW** Mental abuse, physical abuse, domestic violence
You were sitting at the bar, neon lights danced down your face
With your friends you laughed about some stupid movie you all loved
I saw when you looked down at your hands, your smile disappeared
The loneliness began to creep up behind your eyelids
I approached you, asked if you'd have a beer and smoke with me
You walked me home after, laughing about ridiculous childhood memories
Sharing our frustrations over how much had changed since the simple days
"I didn't know you back then, but I wish that I had"
He was coming over tonight, I was making us dinner
"I know your birthday isn't for another week, but I have a surprise for you"
He opened the box, full of his favorite games, CDs, and books from his childhood
The ones he had relied on through his mom's various relationships, the abuse, the picking up and moving, the lost friendships
Everything he lost, piece by piece, move after move
He tried his best to not cry in front of me
"I figured you weren't listening. Nobody remembers stuff like this."
He told me he loved me, I said it back.
We moved into a Tudor style house with a big garden, just as I dreamed
Settling in the same town where I went to high school
We painted the walls shades of blue, had a candlelit dinner with a table made of boxes, we slept on our mattress on the floor
"All I ever wanted was for you to have a place to call home,
to want to stay, to feel safe"
The next morning he received a call, his mother was back in the hospital
He had no contact for years, she said she needed him this time
He was quiet most of the day as we shopped for furniture
A familiar face spotted me from down the aisle, a high school boyfriend
"Long time no see, did you move back?"
"Just yesterday", I introduced them
"We should catch up sometime, see you around"
He looked at me, unamused. "You gonna hang out with him? I think you should"
I shook my head "No thanks"
Laughing, he said, " Well, sure feels like you want to"
"I'm not even going to entertain this conversation"
He didn't come home from the bars until 3am, he slept on the couch
I woke him up, his plane was leaving in a couple of hours
I asked again if he wanted me to go with him to see her
"Don't act like you care. Have fun hanging out with him."
He grabbed his suitcase and slammed the door.
He was returning today, we had hardly spoken for two weeks
He came through the door with a dozen white roses
He hugged me and wouldn't let go. "Please forgive me
Please? I am so sorry. I couldn't live if I ever lost you"
I awoke in the middle of the night, our bedroom glowing
I caught a glimpse of him, my phone in his hands, I pretended to sleep
I didn't want to fight.
The garden had become overrun by weeds
The vases in the house had emptied
The blue walls turned to shades of gray
It was pouring rain, at home, after the funeral
I walked outside, laid in the street
The drops of water reflecting the landscape across my face
It washed over the blotches on my skin, old and new
Blue, black, brown, green, yellow
He saw me and ran outside, carried me off the road
"I'm so sorry, it won't happen again, I promise
If you leave me, I would die
If you leave me, I would die
I don't think you understand
Without you, I won't survive"
It felt like drowning.
I'm writing a series about control. The ways in which people manipulate time, memories, feelings etc. as a means of determining and predicting what free-thinking individuals do/feel/say... All, supposedly, in the name of love or as a means to preemptively protect themselves from being subjected to the uncontrollable.