There are things I never told you, things I never will. They aren’t lies, merely an avoidance of the truth.
You could call me a coward, but then you’d have to call yourself one too. I am not the only one with shadowed eyes. I am not the only one tired of our games, our lives, our past, our future.
And yet, it never changes. We are stuck in a limbo because it’s safe and it’s comforting even if it aches. You still call when you are in town, still show up at my tiny little apartment and make yourself at home. Sometimes we sit on the floor, backs pressed against the paint chipped walls, the only sounds our breathing and the rustle of clothes as we shift at random intervals. Words never seemed all that necessary between us.
I don’t know what I am to you. I don’t know what you are to me; a shoulder to lean on perhaps, someone who I’ve never had to spill words to, ungainly sentences to fill empty space, simply because you always understood the unspoken.
Then there are the times where sitting isn’t what you need, and stillness seems to suffocate me. I can hear those moments in your clipped words over a short phone call, see it in your eyes the moment you shut the battered door behind you. Those are the moments I rise from my chair or uncurl from the bed in the corner, book left open, tea left cooling.
You’ve been rough and you’ve been gentle. Sometimes you leave, kissing my bruises in a silent apology as you go. Other times I am the one pressing chapped lips to your bloody scratches.
Why don’t we speak? Is it because you don’t want to know about the mundane moments of my insignificant life? Would the ins and outs of the average person, working in an office cubicle, staring at a screen that shows your face more often than not, depress you? Or is it me that doesn’t want to know? Would you tell me about your life, the one that looks shiny and sparkly from the outside, and make me see how dark it really is underneath?
I see enough in the smudges beneath your eyes, the darkness that seeps into your veins after a long absence and the weariness that weakens your bones and makes you slouch in pain. Those are your secrets, the ones I try to heal without my tongue trying to twist the emotion I’d like to convey.
You see enough in the faded colors on the wall, the chipped floor and worn tablecloth that supports cheap beer. You don’t need to ask and you never will and I don’t want you to. I have my pride just as you have yours. And you still come to me and offer me your warmth.
There are things I’ll never say to you. I’ll never pull at your hand and beg you to stay, I won’t tell you I love you, I won’t ask your reasons for picking me… a simple nobody to all your somebody. I won’t give you a reason to feel guilty or hold you back because you are meant to be free.
There are things you’ll never say to me. You’ll never ask me home, you’ve only ever come to me. You’ll never introduce me to your friends or parents, or offer to give me more than just you. I don’t want it because however convoluted and twisted this is, whatever we are, you let me be me, and I let you be you.
In here you aren’t who the world sees. In here I’m not just another ordinary. In here we are together, hidden hearts in a room of flaking drywall. Promises hidden down so deep they will never find the courage to climb free.
We are cowards.
But when we lie on the floor, smoke curling from forgotten cigarettes and dancing in the light from cracked curtains, we are brave because we don’t need words to see the truth. Naked and bare our souls know each other through all the traps and defenses we’ve put around us to shut out the world. In those moments, I am strong because you are and you are strong because I am.
This is why I’ll never tell you the things my head doesn’t want to admit, and why you’ll never ask. Why complicate something so simple with words that are so meaningless to others?
I don’t want your promises.
I don’t want your lies.
I don’t want your secrets.
I just want the silent moments frozen in time, locked in memories to keep my veins warm on cold evenings. That’s all you have to give. And it aches. And it comforts.
Read into this as you wish.