I was nervous and afraid, pushing nightmares out of my head to try to make you see that I did care, that I wanted you all the time but there were parts of me too afraid to ever go anywhere in that wild madness that is possibility.
And you were smiling, fond and amused, as if you knew something I didn’t - you always do - and then you said it with the sort of calm that comes with deep-rooted confidence.
And I breathed in, but there was too much air in my lungs.
That was the only way you could have said it, you beautiful bastard, and I should have expected no less.
These are the mornings I feel safe, and warm, and loved.
And you are lying in the dark with your body feverish and your whole being spent, and my hand is over your heart, and you look at me with your eyes suddenly void of their usual harmless cheer and full of something far more like a burning giant. You ask me if I know how much I mean to you, and in a question you hold an answer that is endless.
I am reminded of a childhood book, where the rabbit tells his mother he loves her to the moon and back again, right here, his outspread arms. The moon is not very far, in the whole universe, but compared to how far my hand is from your lungs and your blood, it is far, far, far indeed.
You are my first forever.
I have demons and they are all inch-deep under my skin. I wish I could restore them to the box I once locked them in, for they writhe about and bite you too. If it was just my blood to sink into the ground, it would not matter, but when you get caught by a talon, by a claw, I feel even more hollow.
I am a beast, sometimes, when the sun cannot reach the bottom of the bottle, and this brandy is dark and rancid.
I’m terrified of you believing that I am not fighting for you. This is not the case, I promise, but there are sections of my life you could not possibly understand. A simple solution for you is a chasm for me, and to step forwards I may fall into an abyss, losing grip on the footholds I have clawed into these cliffs years and years through.
You’re afraid that one day I might get bored of you. My life is full of change, and you think that perhaps I’ve learned to enjoy it, and eventually I will tire of you and leave.
There is some truth to that, sweet, in that I never stay when I am bored, but you are not that. You are not plain, and you are not simple, nor are you dim and dull-witted.
I told you that you are a universe and I will never fully understand every corner of you, and even if I do, one day, I will have nothing but wonder left in me. I told you that you were every wish I had ever made in the darkest corners of my life, with my hands clenched into my skin hoping that I would rip and tear and disappear.
We were meant to be asleep, but we whispered to each other instead, your hand on the small of my back and my face buried in the crook of your neck.
Can I always stay here, where I can smell all the little scents and tones that are you, where I am warm and held and safe? Can I remain here forever?
The rest of the world is immaterial. Eternity means nothing, if the present is filed with such quiet whorls of delicate happiness.
Because you told me that I never let myself be fully happy, and now I am.
I just want today and the day after that, whatever happiness entails and whatever shuddering heartbreak I may one day suffer, I want the smell of sunshine on my skin and this glowing in my heart.
Perhaps one day of glory is worth a lifetime of darkness after all.
Please don’t doubt that I do, because I do, and I do, and I do.
Because it is in the strange dance that I must have learned, a universe-cycle ago, and these shoes were made for me as they were for Cinderella, and they will fit me no matter how many lives I drift through.
I am made of these passions. I am deeper than my light laughter, than my mad antics. I am a creature of agony and bewilderment, and some day you might see that.