Copyright November 2000
A word. A pain that torments my bruised heart.
The voice, the touch . . . they're no longer there. I open my eyes in the morning and cannot find the smile that use to greet my waking. I come home at night and mourn the loss of the hug that eased the stress of my day. I listen for the silly rebuttal, the foolish argument that always faded into a gentle lovemaking of forgiveness.
The room we share is now a prison of heartbreak. Four walls that close in on me, suffocating me with silence. I hide in the corner, staring at the door. Dare I open it? If I go through the door, will I risk another betrayal? Another breaking of my trust? Another doubting of my worth?
And yet daily survival forces me out into the real world. I cannot escape life. As much as I want to hide until the pain no longer eats at my soul, I know I cannot.
Friends are there for me . . . briefly . . . momentarily. They have their own lives, their own problems. Their own world, that no longer includes me. They spare a few seconds of compassion, of understanding, of sympathy, then . . . they are gone.
I'm left alone, on the outside, silently screaming for help. I watch; I listen to their laughter, their teasing, their happiness. It only reinforces the aloneness, the pain.
I reach out, make the effort to join the living, to overcome the hell I find myself in. But then there is a reminder . . . a word, an action that let's me know I'm alone in this. There is no one beside me. Only I can reconstruct this shattered heart.
I hesitate outside our apartment. I don't want to go inside. It still hurts to see that empty chair or the dinner table with one less place setting. The collection of knick- knacks that defined your presence . . . they're all gone, leaving empty shadows in the dust.
My hand trembles as I reach for my keys. Taking a deep breath, I open the door and enter the empty darkness. I fumble for the light switch only to find myself tenderly embraced by a pair of welcoming arms.
To be continued . . .