Starting at the ending.
I remember the look in your eyes when I told you
Like you were watching a movie for the 100th time and suddenly the ending had been changed
Your eyes searched for answers in mine,
But they got lost somewhere in between my hollow tears and your helpless heart.
Your cries tried to tell me you were sorry, your arms tried to tell me I was safe now
And your shaking body told me that the worst was far from over.
I remember when our shaking limbs fell in synchronicity with one another.
Telling a story that only you and I would understand.
I remember being glad I told you
I remember being sorry I told you
I remember wishing I could tell you more
I remember begging somehow I’d forget it all.
I know that it wasn’t my fault, but sometimes I still feel like I should be sorry
Sorry I didn’t know better or stop it sooner
Sometimes I feel sorry I remembered anything at all
Everything was fine
And suddenly it wasn’t
And like a dam breaking so many memories belonged to me and all I wanted to do was give them back
You didn’t deserve to go through this
I didn’t either, but you even more
You have always been the arms that protected me
The hands I could count on
The voice that never wavered
The eyes that made me believe everything was going to be okay
I hate that your eyes became jaded
I hate that your heart became hardened and your hands became callused from clawing and clenching and pushing the guilt away
I hate the way the memories stacked themselves on top of one another and created a wall between us that no ladder could ever reach
I hate the way our memories linger when we have coffee in the morning, sometimes talking so loudly I can’t hear anything you’re trying to say.
I guess I thought that maybe one day they’d leave us as quickly as they found us
Like maybe this was a dream and we were on the verge of waking up.
I avoided unzipping the suitcase as though there was a bomb ticking inside and whether I left it zipped or made it visible, it was still going to blow.
It was only a matter of time.
But one day someone asked me questions that I’d never been asked before
And without any warning, the suitcase ripped open
I was scared and I wanted to cry and I really wanted to keep my eyes squeezed closed forever.
But I looked.
And the suitcase was empty.
I could hardly believe it
I blinked a few times and looked away and even ran my hands along the lining to make sure I was seeing it right.
It was empty.
And I felt kind of happy like I wanted to laugh but also kind of sad like I wanted to cry.
So I did both, and so did you.
We talked about our memories like maybe they didn’t have to own us forever
Like suddenly we got to choose.
We laughed about screaming their names so the rest of the world could be warned
We talked about how things were different back then
And I promised you that there was nothing else you could have done
I got a lump in my throat when you promised me the same.
I always dreaded the day we would have to talk about it again
I guess maybe it’s because sometimes I still see the look in your eyes the first time I told you when I close mine
I played this movie in my mind at least 100 times
But, somehow, the ending was different this time.
The ending looked a lot like a beginning.