He saw it, he saw it taking over you and he saw it take you
away from him and he watched he watched
as you drowned in your own head, never registering in his own that the last
thing you needed was more space when you were sinking into the bottomless
It was like staring at a sick person coughing up blood and
thinking oh, well just give it some time
you’ll be okay.
You weren’t coughing up blood and you weren’t dying but
something was wrong – something like a virus stealing away all your happiness
and it was killing the girl you used to be.
And he stood by and watched.
Like all common colds, he thought it was nothing to be
worried about at first – something that would heal with time, something that confined
you to bed for a few hours before you’d come back to him, little sniffles and
raspy-voiced, but you were okay, you’d be okay.
But then you’re locked in your room and your answers were
always weak variants of I’m tired and
you pulled away from his touch not because you were afraid of infecting him,
but because you no longer wanted his fingers on your skin.
You began to reject him like cherry medicine that you always
found a way to avoid – he was trying to help, he was trying to help but you scrunched your nose and you
turned away like he was something you didn’t want or need.
He thinks, at first, you just needed space. There was
something in you that would fight back whatever was plaguing you so and you
were strong enough to carry on despite your hollow smiles and you just needed
time to recover, you just needed space.
You had too much of it.
You don’t know how to explain it, how to tell Luke that his
touch feels like a ghost on your skin, like he’s not there like he’s not real, that everything was fading from
you – you don’t know how to tell him that it’s not him that’s disappearing
before your very eyes, it’s you who
was simply disintegrating on the inside.
How do you tell that to someone?
That hollowed out feeling inside of you that refuses to
leave, the way your energy saps out of your skin with every forced smile, how
voices disappear around you only to reappear in your head, how you’re a mix of tired and sad and lonely even when
you’ve slept most of the day, even when you’ve got all the reasons in the world
to smile, even when you’re surrounded by those who love you the most.
Tell me, what do you
It’s like you’re sitting in the doctor’s office with
stuttered words of symptoms and signs but they all sound like foolish
misconceptions of things that were too heightened in your brain, a diagnosis
that you were just overexaggerating things.
Go home and get plenty
You don’t know how to tell Luke, how he can even help when you can barely give him an
idea of what’s wrong – when you don’t know if there’s anything even wrong to
All you know is that you find it a little harder to smile,
you find it a little harder to breathe, you find it a little harder to just be.
The only thing you can muster are weak movements in your bed
and simple nods and shakes of your head and you’re not in the mood, you’re not feeling and no words are getting through
to your head, no touch warm enough to thaw whatever ice was creeping through
your veins, numbing you.
But that doesn’t stop him from trying.
Once he knows that this isn’t something time can fix, he’s
determined to be your crutch until you can walk, your medicine until you can
sleep at night again.
He wraps his arms around you and he doesn’t speak, his
steady heart rate like a guideline to how your heart should beat again.
You feel his breath on your neck and you can feel the first
caresses of warmth again.
He doesn’t ask you what’s wrong, he doesn’t ask you to
speak, to explain.
He asks for your simple consent, and when his lips brush
yours, it’s like the first dose of medicine.
And your days are spent with him, his fingers tracing
circles on your back and it’s his way of holding on to you to make sure you don’t
He talks about his day or this song he likes or this movie
he wants to see and he doesn’t expect a reply – but just having his voice in
the background is enough to distract you from whatever demons were plaguing
And slowly, you begin to thread your fingers through his
hair like you used to and you manage a little curve of a ghost of a smile and
when he brings you your favourite food you can hold down a few bites.
When he asks you a question you begin to form words again
and it take a few more days before you reply without being asked, before you
start a conversation that you worked hard to continue.
It takes a while for you to open those wide eyes and see him
– really see him and register that he’s
there, Luke is there for you and he’s holding on to you and he won’t make the
mistake of letting you drift away again.
And Luke is your crutch and he is your medicine but you are
the strength in your wobbly legs as you walk again and you are the buzzing
cells that fight back to repair what’s been damaged.
He helps, but you are the cure.
And maybe Luke won’t ever know what was wrong – maybe you
won’t ever have a name for it, a name for this sudden bout of unexplained sadness
and endless fatigue – but when he holds your hand and sees your glinting eyes
in the creases of the pillow shining in the moonlight, when he feels your soft
fingers rubbing his knuckles –
He’ll make sure you never drift too far away from him.