Leaving time | The Bare Essentials Series

The silence has been deafening. I miss Caroline more than I can explain. Since the night I stormed out I haven’t heard a word from her nor have I attempted to contact her. The urge to apologize was real, but I didn’t want to explain it. I didn’t want to tell her that I was scared to death of being alone, because I knew in that moment I have been my whole life.

The sound of the door slamming reverberated in my dreams for weeks. The screaming had finally stopped and I drifted off into a slumber sleep. My hope for the war to be over had come true, my nightmare however wasn’t.

Sipping on a steaming cup of coffee I stared out into the living room. I couldn’t make sense of the images that danced on the floor as the sun shinned through the curtains. How long have I been awake, how long have I been numb?

“What are you thinking?” I hear in the distant fog.

My blank stare moved to where the sound resonated. There stood a man who I now call my boyfriend.

Hmmm… I voice as a recognition to his question, but I couldn’t make out the context of what he was asking me.

“Viv, what are you thinking about?” he asked one more time as he rubbed a towel over his freshly washed hair.

Nothing, at least that’s what I’m attempting to convince myself. Taking a long moment to blink and wipe the slate clean I found myself staring into the eyes of a man who I found love for in the crevices of my blackened heart. But yet the moments of numbness still felt extremely real.

“Nothing.” I whisper as I ogle his body; freshly washed, still dripping with water as he moves the towel around.

“Doesn’t look like nothing” he says leaning down to kiss my forehead.

I give a slight smile, the smallest piece of emotion I can muster.¬†“I’m fine.”

How did he handle me and my tidal waves of emotions? I have moments where I just want to blurt out the most amazing pieces of my life, then I have moments like now where I wish he would leave and never look back but at the same time I don’t want him to ever stop hugging me. None of it makes sense; no wars of emotions or screaming belittlement’s just a man who I’m scared of losing when I’m lost within myself.

Standing in front of me I could tell he was trying to read me. Could he tell I wanted to break in two, that if I said it all out loud I couldn’t be glued back together? Could he tell that I’m scared he will run away, that he will find me as something unworthy just like everyone else. Or did he love me the way I found myself loving him? The words haven’t been spoken, but he somehow found the key to the broken china cabinet I hid my heart in. I loved that he showed concern, that he cared, that he wanted to be inside my brain to fight the monsters that reared their ugly heads, but I loved that he let me just be until I was ready.

“I hate them” I whispered into the coffee cup before I even realized I had spoken.

“What?” He said putting his hands on my arms.

“I hate them” I said louder raising to meet his eyes. They are golden brown and sparkled each time I looked at him.

“Why do you hate them?”

“Because they left me” I said with shame creeping up on me like a warm blanket. My cheeks started to blare with heat and I felt vulnerable. Choking back tears, I couldn’t keep my gaze on him.

“Who is they?”

In that instant I realized it wasn’t just my father, but everyone in my life who left me alone with her. Friends, lovers, siblings, cousins, aunts and uncles. I was the one who got lost in the tornado that was my mother and I hated everyone who left me alone with her.

“Everyone” I said as tears rushed down my face and breathing became impossible. I was letting go of the final string to the process of drowning in the memories and in that moment I wondered if even Ben could love me when I knew in my heart he was likely to leave me.

 

*****

 

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