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?

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