You weren't easy.
You gave a good fight but but that bothered me none.
I watched from a safe distance and stalked my prey.
I would show myself just a bit at a time. Just a taste.
And walk away for just the required pause - that word that escapes your mind but sits poised at the tip of your lips. Keeping my soul behind glass.
Guarded with a pack of wild dogs and barbed wire. Even a shark-infested mote.
But something cracked.
Then there were meetings in alleys and the back of buildings
In quiet and dark
With hushed voices and secrets.
The weight of these meetings changed crack to web
And allowed the leaking of feeling.
Causing the huntress to be the hunted
With the prey taking control.
When I think of all the craziness…
The mythical, magical painfulness…
Silent memories locked deep.
I think of you
On a congested coast
Remember the pain of not so long ago,
The innocents of childhood lost in a word…
Turning you into someone new and turning me
to walk away.
We lost a baby. Not physically but emotionally. It feels nearly as bad. She emailed me to tell me that she was pregnant and asked if we wanted to adopt him because she wanted him to have a better life than she could provide.
For 24 days we discussed the adoption. We went to the lawyer, we went to Social Services, we got the ball rolling. We purchased clothes and baby bedding. We created registries. We told our family. We told our friends. I had second thoughts. I began to mourn my childless life. I started thinking about the things I’d miss and how I’d have to start abiding traffic laws.
Then I started to think about the good things; Christmases with Isaac (that was going to be his name), martial arts lessons, summer reading clubs at the library. I started getting used to the idea of sharing my life with a newcomer. I started looking forward to it.
Then she sent another email saying that she was having second thoughts. I was encouraging and sympathetic. I tried to be a good friend but inside I wept. I screamed. I started thinking about undoing all of the things I’d done. I held out hope. Those hopes were dashed with the next email.
She changed her mind. She was keeping the baby. She said when she made the decision to place him with us she wasn’t thinking about him. I questioned if she was doing that now. She pulled the plug. She unfriended me. She crushed my dreams and broke my heart.
I returned the baby clothes. I returned the stroller. I deleted the gift registries. I told my friends.
As soon as Isaac came into my life; he was gone. I was unmothered.
I knew you for a long time, my friend. We grew up together and became closer as the years flew by. You didn’t judge. You didn’t fight. You never said a disparaging word about anyone – even those who deserved it. You were kind. You made everyone feel right at home and you could make friends anywhere.
Even now, when your name is mentioned it inspires a smile to all who knew you. And those that didn’t, upon hearing stories of you, wish they did.
Whenever I saw you, you were always ready with a smile, a hug, and an invitation for adventure.
I love you, my friend. I always will. You were taken too quickly from us; but the best ones usually are. It is a comfort to know that someday, we will be together again. Until then, I hold you in my memory and am thankful to have lost something so wonderful. For to lose something is to have had it in the beginning.
You speak of love but I ask, do you understand the word's meaning?
You say, "you can't be 'what we are' without an emotional bond" and I believed, yet how easily that connection severed.
You speak in generalities, always talking, yet saying nothing. And I look back and feel I played my role handsomely - the lamb ever trusting as she is led to the end.
Your final communication - a slice to the throat - and my love, my live, leaks onto your shoes. And as you turn, the trail weakens
until there is nothing,
and I in a heap.
I let you in.
Into the darkest places of my soul. Into the dark, wet crevices and the webbed corners only cleaned for company.
I let you see the part that isn’t light – the me that toddles between them and they like a child on training wheels or a young lover consummating a relationship; a breaking of the blood for the very first time.
And consume you did. You grabbed my Self heavy handed by the throat and slammed it against the wall; fucking and foaming and cursing the Me I once knew. Choking the pain and tying the anguish of those that came only to slice and carve out a name for themselves. Another notch in the belt.
Audrie is a writer and editor living in Illinois. She is a fan of all things horror and pop culture.