The soft sounds of footsteps as you walk away. You whisper that you’ll be back. I believe you.

Then the pull of all the outside forces begin to build. You say one thing, yet I see another. Shrouds of secret codes and niceties. Are they meant to keep away the hurt? I can only guess. Raised on lies and spoon fed guilt, I have no way to know what truth looks like. Naive to what an honest person may look and feel, I have to admit I’d hoped it looked like you.

I said I knew that it was all a convenience, a distraction. That the feel of your soft skin and the smell of summer across your chest was all to keep me from looking back, but never ahead. My mind could never conceive of a place ahead because when you are drowning all you can do is try to breathe.

And now I don’t know if I really knew better. I thought you would be safe. I thought breathing you in would make it easier. It did. For a moment I had the courage to do what needed to be done.

Now my courage fails me. I am afraid I’m addicted. Every time I take a breath, it catches. I beg God and all things magical to explain what I am to do now. I wonder if the pause in the road is meant for me to fix the cracks, but I have no way of knowing because I am lost. And when I am lost I have this way. I am getting better but I’m more like a man. I refuse to admit defeat. I will not go down. Until I do, and then I sob until I can barely breath and I am drowning again. This time I wish for death on this road that never ends.

But then I look for flowers and I forget for a moment that I ever even had a care in the world. I wish the flowers would never wither and give up too.

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