Frustration

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Written 7/4/2016-He reads my broken smile with just a look, I cannot meet his eyes, he knows. He always knows. I hide my face and start to fumble for things to say, he sees right through. "What's wrong?" he asks... I don't move. My breath is heavy and chest tight. He moves closer. I feel the heat...

He reads my broken smile with just a look, I cannot meet his eyes, he knows. He always knows. I hide my face and start to fumble for things to say, he sees right through. "What's wrong?" he asks... I don't move. My breath is heavy and chest tight. He moves closer. I feel the heat of his body, his breath on my shoulder. I don't waste a moment. Immediately I back away, putting a table between the space of he and I. He knows me so well, yet, he does not see it. He cannot see it... How I pull away in a ball of nerves when he comes too near... How my eyes grow large and my fingers tremble... He sees everything, but not this. He does not know what he does to me. He sees the frustration on my face... the sign of discomfort, but cannot connect it to his presence, and why should he? His eyes are warm, soft even. He looks intently toward me. He says nothing, just looks, trying hard to read my thoughts. But I won't, can't let him... he can't see, if he did I'd lose everything. Everything I have in that one moment of truth. And I cannot lose everything. Palms sticky, eyes dart, heart racing, I turn. I look to the door, frantic, helpless, hysteric. He follows my gaze, he knows I want to run. From what though, he doesn't know. He sees it now, the frantic look in my eyes, connects it to the look he's seen in small cornered animals, terror. He backs away knowingly. He sighs softly, and gives me space. I let out a breath I didn't realize I was holding in... I ease, my shoulders less tense, my fists turn to individual fingers again... I shut my eyes tight, why must I create such a scene? I hate myself for it. I hate myself for everything. I look again to the door, this time less motivated or anxious. I could run. I could run right out that door and not look back, but it wouldn't matter. I could run from him, but I can't run from myself. No matter where I run, I will always be waiting for myself. The irony. I muffle a bitter laugh. If only I didn't love him as I do. Life would be so much easier. And so much harder at the same time. I hate it. The complication, the confusion, the emotions all jumbled. I feel trapped in this skin, behind layers of self loathing and regret. If I could only change and be good, better than this... but I can't seem to see hope. I sigh, taking in a deep breath. "Emma," he starts, but I cut him off, "I'm okay," I say unconvincingly. He looks at me with that look, the one that says he knows I'm lying, but he doesn't argue it, doesn't push the point. His eyes are filled with concern and care... those eyes, the eyes of the truest friend I've ever had. I manage a soft smile, "thank you," I say. He cocks his head slightly, "for what?" he asks. "For being the best friend I've ever had," I reply, and I really mean it. He smiles at me, "You're the best friend I've ever had too." It pains me to hear it, but I know it's true. I know the stories, he's shared the memories... the people who treated him in such a disgusting manner as a youth... His life a series of misfortune and unkindness. Thinking about it puts a sick feeling deep inside me and knots begin to form in the pit of my stomach. I hate them. All those people who thought they were better. They weren't. He deserved so much better. My fists tighten again. He sees it, and he knows what I'm thinking. He moves closer, "hey," he says softly, touching my arm," those days are over, now I am surrounded by people who truly love me." And he's right. More right than he will ever know.

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