Before the others showed up, I never knew you. Before their soiled boots, stepped across our families’ pastel carpet, we had never been truly introduced. You would come and visit from time to time, but you never stayed long. A quick visit, amongst acquaintances, quick conversations, with not hing of substance. But as I let the officers into our home, you snuck in as well.
As we sat distracted by their words, by their kind sympathies, you unpacked your bags, moving in. You moved in, becoming a permanent fixture in my life. Filling my every breath, every essence, every movement. You sat silently in the room with my family, watching the hours pass by. You stood beside me while I cried, screaming out to the stars asking why. You kneeled beside me, in the ornate marble funeral parlour, as the reality of my loneliness sank in. You became my one constant, a best friend, a worst enemy, the only one I could turn to. You sat beside me and my uncertainty. Listened as I questioned who I am and who I want to be.
As I travelled, you travelled with me, unpacking your suitcase in every city I visited, neatly tucking away your clothes under mine. You kept your distance as I tried to push you away. Covered your face as I tried to hide from you. But you were always there. You became the constant face I could rely on, the one person I could truly confide in. As I grew, as I changed, you understood my every step. You never judged, just followed.
As the months drew on, I tried more feverishly to hide you from friends and family. Scared they wouldn’t understand our relationship, scared they would try to take you from me. Scared they wouldn’t understand why I loved you. So I hid you, I hid you behind a smile, a laugh, a joke. Never allowing anyone to see you, never allowing anyone to sense your presence.
But you were always there. Stealing my breath, as the cold memories would pierce through my lungs. Escaping through the corner of my eye, as my heart quietly broke. You felt my pain, holding my hand through it. Holding me, as darkness consumed my body. You held me, never letting go, never letting me go. You loved me, you loved my every essence. The dark, the light, you loved. You encouraged me to move forward, to find life, to find myself. And you stood there, hand extended, for when I fell.
Slowly you moved out, taking your toothbrush from the holder in the bathroom. Slowly you moved out, as our words become less frequent, as we grew distant. We grew distant, two lives in two different places. We grew distant.
Now and again we run into each other. Now and again, as I walk, alone, along the street. You greet me with your warm embrace, holding my hand as you used to do. Holding me, in the safety, the familiarity of your arms. We sit face to face, catching up, as tears gently fall. You sit listening, captivated as the words pour out. You sit, an old friend, catching my tears as they fall. You sit, allowing me to feel again, allowing me to exhale the thoughts trapped within my mind. You hold me, as I break. Holding me, as you pick up the pieces, pulling me together, putting the puzzle pieces back. You lock me in a warm embrace, holding me until a smile appears from behind the tears. Holding me, as the tea grows cold, and the conversation lightens. You stand, as laughter fills the room, walking to the door. Your arms wrapped around me, as we say our goodbyes. We say our
goodbyes, eyes full of love, as you walk down the hallway. As I watch you walk away.