Tuesday, October 6, 2015

We met on a sleepy Tuesday, in the afternoon, when dreams were tempting, but reality pulled our heads back from the clouds. In an old book shop, our fingers brushed, then recoiled from the naked spine of a hard-covered classic I'd probably never have the strength, will, or time to read. There was the old book smell lingering in the air. Bells and chimes hung by the door, giggling musically as they were tickled by the summer breeze.

The shelves were old and worn. There was dust in the air. Sun beams washed the small, breathing space in a golden glow, and the books themselves twinkled. This was how we met, and you became a permanent part of my everyday life.

You were there on all the bus rides I took to random places to fill the emptiness in my eyes. You knew what got to me: it was Death Cab for Cutie, it was Snow Patrol, it was Bon Iver. You were there to listen to the saddest songs; the inspiration to my darkest fantasies.

I remember you sitting by my side as I cried my heart out that day at my uncle's house, when it was lunch time and I had to put my plate down and run when my grandfather said I shouldn't eat too much, because I was fat. Even now, you know how much this still hurts. You know how I've never really been able to look at the mirror and like what I see since then.

It was you, not anyone or anything else, that knew of the strength I had to pull from nothing when my teachers pulled me aside and accused me of being pregnant, also because I was fat. Because unlike them or other women, I saw nothing wrong with not being skin and bones. You saw how my hands trembled; you heard my voice waver as I said no, I wasn't pregnant, and no, I wasn't offended. You knew what I was even without me saying it: I was hurt that even after explaining myself, I knew they didn't believe me. 

In mornings when it was hardest to drag myself out of bed, you held me down and said it was okay. It was okay to be stagnant sometimes. There was no rush. There was nothing more important than the galaxy that was dying inside me. You said, nurture it, nurture me, and I did.

You've grown to be such a big part of my life. I don't know how to live without you, and I'm not sure I'd ever want to. Even on that very first day, I knew, when you opened your arms and gave me a home, there was no escaping you.

And so when you said, Hello, my name is Sadness, I embraced you and answered, I've been waiting for you.

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