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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I looked your way a long time today, but you were gazing elsewhere.

"You've ruined everything now, forever."

He says the words with absolute brutality. And yet there's not anger in his words, but hurt. She's crying and can't stop. How could she do it? How could she let it happen? How was she blind all along? He pats her head and starts to walk out the door. She doesn't ask him to stop, she hasn't done that for over a decade now.

"I despise myself more than you, I hope you know that."

He came back. He always did. Moreover, there was nothing left to do. Nowhere left to go. She was all he really had, his one prized possession, the one he never earned but deserved nonetheless. Him and her. Two broken souls came together to produced the most scarred one there ever was. And they watched it happen, didn't see the signs or read the skies crying out to them.

"How could this happen?"

They ask each other this repeatedly. Neither can ever answer. They look at her and it's all changed. She's grown so much in one night. How did they miss it all? How did they watch her childhood just pass them by? More importantly, did they actually just let her miss all of it herself?

"I failed you."

Neither says this, they're proud people, them. They shoulder the blame together but it's done in utter silence for years.

"I didn't mean for it."
"But it happened. You took my daughter from me."
"I .."
"Save it. I'll never forgive you."
"I'll never forgive myself."

They grew to ignore the unpleasant bits. They erased the horrific ones in ways of their own. Fought their demons in ways they knew best. But it was always there, that something, seeping beneath the surface, lurking in the shadows. The unspeakable truth.

Years later, she thanked him.
Thank you for giving me a wonderful daughter, she said.

Him - "I love you, despite everything."
Her - "I love you, because of everything."

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