All within the turning of one year

She had hung frozen and stiff, waiting for something to occur. For the frost to melt or the ice to crack. Hoping to embrace even a minute change.

Instead, the ice grew inwards, deeper than could be seen. Cutting into her tender organs, disrupting the flow of her blood. All the hurt turned around and wore at her insides, the way the uncaring sea whittles down the hardest rock.

Others knew something was wrong–but not exactly what. She looked slightly odd, just a bit too sad. Her smiles were fleeting and her words would trail off, leaving huge spaces at the end of her sentences. Gaps only filled with her wary and wounded eyes. They plead for something that no one could give.

She finally saw what others only guessed at: hair brittle and falling from her itchy scalp like manna from Heaven, skin eruptions that caused her to wear long sleeves in the summer heat, aches and pains and bruises from a body shrieking under the weight of all she made it bear.

Only did she receive relief in her dreams. As she slept, she slipped off to be with him and there, at his side, she was whole, healthy, unbroken. Glowing like she was a newborn, sleek as the dawn of Spring.

Only then.

When she opened her eyes, she fell back in her itchy skin and felt the pain of grief that was eating and gnawing her heart. Sharp teeth and tiny claws, kicking and scratching. Incessantly scraping, filling her ears with tiny whispers and  piteous whimpers.

It must come out. But it might take her sanity with it, as it breaks free and flies free on the confines of her skin.

What then will she be? Who loves a husk?

It was the future he mourned

She was sweet. She smelled sweet and tasted that way, too. Kisses like spun sugar.

But she left, suddenly. Over the long winter break, she hurriedly had to move away. Not having his number at his parent’s place, she left  a brief message for him with a friend, who forgot all about it until nearly Homecoming.

By then, the numbers had changed and the letters he sent came back, pristine and marked  ‘return to sender, addressee not at this location’.

He was not sure how he should feel. Abandoned, lost or forgotten-similar in tone but not the same, those varying shades of pitch.

She eventually slid to the back of his head, stood behind his thoughts, not in front of all of them.

Then one bright morning, he opened the paper and read that she died. A car crash, that ruined the life of her family, two times over.

He sat down.

He wept.

He wept for her. For those who survived her.  For his sadness, his frustration.

But selfishly, he shed copious tears over the hard and pointed fact that he would not have a chance at life with a woman like her. Instead, he would  be tied briefly to women who just need a man to validate them, women who were bored and he was a passing fancy, women who only wanted him to toil for their needs.

He would not have a life of sunshine, fresh flowers on the table, candles at night and nothing but stillness under starry skies. No laughter shared over breakfast, nor shared glances of contentment over the head of his first-born.

When she left, she took all of that with her. Leaving him with wet eyes and broken apart, ragged-edge dreams