The Pain Someone Feels

By Andrea Eleazar, USA

I started to call out to him, but upon remembering, the words caught again in the very back of my throat. It was nearly impossible, for some reason, for me to simply reach out and take his hand, even when he was only but a few inches away. It was as if some otherworldly force had been weighing me down stationary, restraining me and tightening the bonds until soon when all of my limbs felt so constricted that the scarlet flow froze in their pulsating channels.

My body is heavy. Every limb resists with the inexorable force of a magnet my efforts to drag myself from the mattress. Always have I felt alone, but never alone in spirit. He’s not speaking to me at the moment, and I’m not sure whether I should rejoice or sulk in my own shadows because I don’t have his company.

It’s strange this time around; although quiet, he is never quite silenced. I often wish he would just leave forever, but the more time he spends with me, the more comfortable he gets, and I start to fall more in love with the idea of it all.

Calm as he may be, he waits patiently for a reason to wake, takes an overdue breath, and crawls back to my ear.

And here is where my predicament lies – would setting him free be my biggest mistake? Or my greatest achievement?

Sometimes I think I’ve become too comfortable with sadness. I toss it around my shoulders like a heavy coat, its inner wool keeping me warm from the subzeros that nip at my reddened cheeks. And to my surprise, it all fits snugly around my body, adjusting its size as my bliss shrinks and withers and is practically reduced to a microscopic speck. How is it that such sorrow has become a luxury, my dwelling? How is it that anguish is now the place in which I can tuck my head and call it a night?

I am afraid to venture into uncharted territory, where what they call happiness is found, though I am aware of my dire need for it. I realize that contentment, to my convenience, is just within reach.

If I stretched my fingers far enough, I could grasp it in a firm grip, never daring to release it from my possession, and pull it close to my chest.

Instead, I seem to always cling to darkness because it is too familiar to me; I wouldn’t trade it for any other.

And when the high subsides, receding into the background? When our future’s children, our posterity, become acquainted with melancholy, color draining from their faces and replaced by bitter despair? When the only tickles they will ever live to experience are given by the waterworks that endlessly trickle down tender cheeks?

If I sit in the rain, maybe I can drown in something other than my own thoughts.

Why am I so afraid of the light?

Forget looking at things in a different light. Everything – no matter what it is – looks better in black and white.

They will only be left with the agony and the yearning to forget…forget…forget.

Not all struggles show

Not all wounds heal

Often we see not

The pain someone feels.