My heart was torn in two. Irreparably shattered into a thousand tiny shards, each etched with just one tiny squiggle from the scratches he burned into my soul. Scratches that, upon repair, once wholeness had been returned, would indelibly complete the impossible words that create his name.
His eyes hit me like a shit ton of unforgotten bricks, poured over my weary shoulders in one long, deep, emotionless second. My breath left me, unable to survive in the shell he left behind. I couldn’t speak. Only glance around frantically for something else; someone else; anyone else. He smiled with lips that I knew carried the shadow of a sneer for what he created in me. The daunted, personless, raped and beaten little girl he wishes he had locked securely in the space below his armpit.
Escape was fruitless. I stared back. I ached to hide the fear in my eyes; a fear he fed upon. Lived upon. I stared in shock as he pulled another defenseless soul under his demanding arm, his eyes still piercing mine with the venom of all his promises, lies, and swift punishment. A kiss he laid delicately on her cheek, his smirk escaping the shadows and driving rusty nails into my body. I could feel them. They broke the skin, hot steamy blood escaping the clear and perfect holes. I fell to the ground, unsure if my beating heart was still a part of me – or had it run away too? The Thumping. The deep and shaken thumping was all my ears could interpret as those green muddy hiking boots slowly moved on through the crowd, the essence of my sorrow still woven into the hard rubber soles.
I was unmoving. Unfeeling. Unable to see, hear, or weep as the throng of unaware strangers swallowed me in arms, legs, plans, relationships, and genuine smiles. I wasn’t to be seen; not me. I was shrinking, falling, absorbed in the background where I preferred to live. A background that was now dull and empty without the vibrant strokes and colors of the man who had made me into nothing more than a blank wall. Maybe I never existed in the place. Maybe it was only ever him. And now the door of obscurity was inviting me back in, beckoning me to return…
My keys clinked magically as I dropped them to the table; a subtle reminder that even rusty, jagged unliving objects had a sense of joy somewhere deep down. The sound of the TV blocked my melancholy thoughts. Bandage after bandage I applied delicately to my withering skin, dry and raw from kneeling for hours on rough and rocky asphalt. It was my punishment. For letting him take me again even if only for a moment; even if only by imagination. I felt as though I were caring for my soul – a far greater delapidation than a physical ailment could ever imitate. One bandage for the heartbreak, another for the tears. A dabble of ointment for the open wounds still oozing puss and muck. And medical tape to keep everything together; to compartmentalize the pain somewhere reachable but unnoticeable. Somewhere where I could control it.
Massage. Or mutilate.