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his laugh was full of unspoken horrors and i could see in the way he held his jaw. i was not going to get through. but i am a light chaser and the flicker in his eyes gave me hope so i stayed well past what i knew was good… | Secret Keepers by Emily Joy Rosen

his laugh
was full of unspoken horrors
and i could see
in the way he held his jaw
i was not going to get through

but i am a light chaser
and the flicker in his eyes
gave me hope
so i stayed
well past
what i knew was good

they say your stories
are yours
that we can write freely about anything
that has happened to us
but i am not a fan of sharing in a way
that ever reveals the person i am speaking of

because here is what i know…

this boy
had endured
than most humans do
and i am not condoning poor behavior
i am not justifying abuse
i am just asking
that we look deeper
before we begin hurling our hurt
at each other
and seeking retribution

because it always takes two
to tango

we were perfect to trigger each other
me, clingy and needy
him, distant and disinterested

him always on something
floating and uncaring
me always stone cold sober
and madly in love

what he doesn’t remember is
half of our relationship

wasted, i would sit with him
at the kitchen table
as he cried
and told me of his childhood

i would hold him
till the weight of his body
was literally hurting me
and we would wake up
on opposite ends of the bed
my head filled
with his childhood memories

i remember trying to talk about
the night before
but it always ended in slammed doors
and name calling

so i taught myself to keep silent

i fancied myself the keeper of his stories
this was the first time
i recognized
how deeply our upbringing
can shape us
and how unbearably crippling
our past can be

i grew incredibly fond of the man
i knew from 1:00am – 3:00am

he would even talk as if he was the boy
in his stories
sometimes looking just 13

his eyes got bigger
his lips softer
and tears would often fall
from a man who in the daylight
refused to even get misty eyed

one night he was so gone,
so drunk
he didn’t know who i was
and he began telling me
how he was using me

“i am with this girl,” he said
“her name is emily
and i’m trying to break her heart
to show all those b*tches
they will never control me
never again
will anyone have any power
over me”

that night, after dragging him to bed
i sat on the porch and smoked
two packs of cigarettes
clove cigarettes
djarum black to be exact
six of them are enough
to close most throats

they are strong and sweet
and i didn’t stop inhaling them
till i could barely breathe

i was asthmatic growing up
severely so

my parents had taken great care
to help rehabilitate me

and here i was making my lungs

i found myself gasping for air
and so did what i knew to do…

i had no one to put hot compresses
on my back
so i took the hottest shower
i could stand
laying face down in the bath tub
i felt the water pounding
on my back and rising up
around my face

i would play with keeping my head
under water for uncomfortably long
and when i came up for air
my lungs would burn so much
i thought for sure i was taking myself out

i don’t remember falling asleep
but i remember waking up

the shower was still on
but the water was now cold
and my only saving grace
was that i had neglected
to plug the tub all the way

i stayed with him 4 more months
and then he disappeared
he did exactly what he set out to do
he broke my heart
and i was left
with all his memories

if you are this girl
listen to me

you must learn to leave
i get it,
you care
and you see all the reasons
he is doing what he does

but if it’s killing you
it is not helping anyone
this i know

do you think i enjoy
sharing these moments
with complete strangers online
who will find me
perfectly crazy?

i don’t

but i do know this is one way
i can get to you

because if you read this though
there is something in here
for you

and if you are this girl
or this boy

i can assure you
there is a different way

so i am going to remind you
that sometimes,
is the kindest thing you can do

it may not seem so

but what good are you
to either of you
if you are
dying too

❤️ emily joy rosen

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