She was coming off the death of a tainted love. She rebuilt and survived and made it out; barely at times. She had seen dark days and light dance in children’s eyes. She valued others while learning not to let it consume. She realized who she was and who she would be were entirely contingent on who she wanted to be.
She found her resolve, albeit as sound as a house of cards. But it was standing. She sought joy. Pride and happiness.
Often finding wounded birds can lead to a feeling of giving unless you discover you’ve nursed back a pterodactyl.
He was boyish charm. Humor and welcome simplicity. A kindness that dwelled beneath a jaded wit and sardonic undertones. He was a diamond in the rough to a halfway lost girl. A girl who sought to care and be cared for. Sailing along on hope and compassion.
She giddily confided in friends. She enjoyed the momentum and the devotion. She saw cracks in the veneer; but she realized everyone is human. She wanted the best. She wanted her moment.
He supported her during a difficult transition. He carried positive and negative in a teetering balance. He had unpolished kindness. He possessed a compartmentalized coping that seemed endearing. She could help. She’d be the solution.
She didn’t know where her darkness was creeping in from. Life had given her curveballs and lemons and she wasn’t on it enough to sort through them. She had compassion when she was weak. She could disregard the verbal blows. Truth be told; she had a lifelong skill of accepting the blame. Whether or not it was the correct direction. She saw weakness in herself and strength in the ones who could point out those flaws openly.
He had an entitlement that she wanted to understand. He accepted the bad and dwelled with it. His emotions were uncultivated and he struggled to navigate them. To filter them accordingly.
He had little verbal control of his projections.
She doubted herself. She worried. She saw eggshells and landmines and still kept going forward as carefully as possible. Apologies were the currency she was paid. But it wasn’t good to cash in anywhere. She wanted to help. To make him better. This was her place. This was her project that would give her meaning. She loved sometimes blindly.
He accepted her assistance begrudgingly while sometimes belittling her in an effort to stay the same pace. It was always peppered with love. A raw, rough-edged love that had purity at nature, but nurture had decimated. He saw no other way and his blinders made the corners tough to turn.
She saw an upswing in her life. Things were improving. But part of her was missing. It was a little piece. But she felt the wind blow threw her some days. She was chasing happiness and it was fluttering down the street like a piece of paper, barely within reach. As she’d get close; graze it with her fingertips, a gust of wind would come up again.
He was crumbling and his façade had tumbled down. He saw hurdles afoot and it was easier to blame for them being put in his way.
She was starting to wonder if she had limits. How much she was accepting and how much she should. She had so much to love to give; it was easy for it to get taken and tossed about like a water balloon. Was this what she was destined for? Would Atlas shrug at any point?
He rarely smiled. He easily lashed out with words. He felt weighed down by the world and it was easier to throw bits of it at another. He wanted to love and he had no idea how.
She started to realize how much of her was now missing. What energy her heart was spending on repair instead of growth. Her pain and sadness was outweighing her tolerance for it. She wanted to try, for she felt like a failure for not creating beauty with what she was given.
Her heart broke.
She started to rebuild. But she was rebuilding scars on scars. Bumbling along. Lost. Panicking about lost time.
He made promises.
She refused to listen.
He made more promises. Gestures of goodwill.
She started to hear. She wasn’t sure she was ready, but her heart swells usually drowned out the voice in her head.
She opened the door a crack.
He came back.
She was happy, albeit cautious. Hopeful, but jaded and skeptical. She didn’t want to be jaded. She wanted to be okay.
He started out with hope. He built with positivity. Making what should be important to survive what he actually focused on.
She had a second thought. She ignored it. Her rollercoaster was on a climb. She had gone through some dark tunnels; but she had found they did end at some point. She started to ignore the signs. There was no way this would happen again. Apologies and promises had been doled out. Words had been said.
Words. The antithesis to action.
He was slowly enveloped in a cloying darkness. An overwhelming tendency to watch things happen instead of participate. To give love weighed down by blades and sorrow. To reduce her to tears while hugging her at the same time.
Words were weapons and she’d accept the olive branch that followed while nursing her proverbial wounds. She had hope. She believed. Who would love her again? Can love be damaging in its intensity when not directed properly?
He questioned. He doubted. He ended her nights with discord and sorrow. He started her mornings with kindness and love. He was easily upset. His pain was overwhelming in his ignorance of its depths.
She believed all of it. She believed the remorse; but she believed he had the inability to see how much damage was being done by his choices. She absorbed his energy. The room could be cloying when his mind was in a dark place.
The roller coaster went up; she’d brace herself because it had to go down. Sometimes the hills were numerous and some had more coasting between.
Repeat the process. Repeat it again. Go up the hills, hurtle down at nearly a 90 degree angle. Get off the ride. Get right back on.
He questioned. He doubted. He spread frenetic bursts of insecurity and word-whipped someone already lying down.
The coaster was running on a rusty wheels. She agonized and continued buying tickets to ride and wondered if she’d ever be able to just sit on the bench and eat some cotton candy.
He made promises. He pleaded. And interspersed it with lashings and pain and love that he couldn’t process or apply. He pledged; he backslid; he apologized and then was quick to anger.
She realized she was gone, too. Missing. Somewhere along the ride, she wasn’t even sure who had been present. She wasn’t sure where the rest of her went. She wanted to believe there was good. That she hadn’t caused this. That she could make better choices. She was lonely. Lost. She doubted herself; wallowed.
Her house of cards had fallen long ago. She was still finding the rest of them that had floated away along with that same bit of happiness she’d never stop chasing.