My heart didn't race in fear of what might happen next as the footsteps echoed through the wood flooring into my own toes. No, I knew what would happen next then. The darkness inside me didn't bubble up to the surface like boiling water. It was dead then, a memory in a story of what its like when things aren't okay. But I was happy and safe and unconcerned just then. Not so long ago.
And I wasn't alone.
Not like now where the walls are too thin to keep the voices out. The light too weak to keep the shadows at bay. And the pleasant memories of mere hours ago nothing compared to the years of nights like these, crashing back down upon me until all I want to do is leave. Can't I just leave? I really, really want to leave.
But I'll think of earlier, if I can.
We sat on the deck in the shade and the breeze and talked with his mother while we ate homemade ice cream and I rearranged myself in the deck chair over and over again. He told his mother that its so easy to get me to back down. Just one word or a simple lean forward and I backpedal from the argument. He said I just get a look on my face of hurt and its worse than anything I could say. Makes a person want to fix it. But he doesn't know and how could I tell him then, how I hate arguing? I've seen the way it escalates into screaming. Throwing things. Hitting. Police. Tears. Fists through walls. Broken things. Words that can never be taken back.
So I don't like to argue. Is it important enough for me to risk going that way? No. No, I'll lose this one. Better to lose than to argue. I still win that way, if my goal is peace.
Now I know its only playful arguing that Jeremy would want from me. I'm not good at it. I would practice if that shut-down mechanism weren't so powerful. Back down. Back down. Back down.
Maybe it wouldn't be so bad here if I wasn't so alone. Just someone to hold my hand in the darkness. Someone else whose breath will seem loud in the silence between the screams. And we could hide under the covers and pretend that its only dark because we want it to be. The world is cold so that we can huddle closer. The way is a labyrinth so that we will always, always stick together, lest we should turn different directions and never see each other again.
But I'm here alone. And I'm just a little more damaged all the time.
But maybe the sun will shine tomorrow and I'll spend time with one of my friends and I'll forget how much I hate coming home to these parents. Until its time to come home.