Sometimes, when I shake badly tossing pillows on the floor, waking with a start because of the invisible pressure around my throat or on my eyelids; you're there again. Like you always were.
Bigger than I was. Beer bottle judgment and fingers fattened from work. Fingers I lived in fear of. You're there as you always were.
I never saw a monster under my bed. That's the healthy paranoia children get when they aren't afraid they'll die, or worse; Live.
There are scars that remind me of you. Lines of poetry, and the dialogue in bad movies. Spite. Spite reminds me of you. Because it was spite that made me strong, that made me hard, that made me angry. It was letting go of that spite, at long last resting from tired work, that made me happy.
Lying in bed next to her. Waking, with a start, perhaps gasping, her hand resting on my face, the future spreading out endlessly in her eyes back at me. The look of understanding dancing a timed waltz with concern. She loves me.
After everything I was told, all that was beaten into me. She loves me. You taught me not to see that coming. Taught me to think it never could. You only taught me spite.