Summoning every ounce of courage she has, she reminds him he’s forgotten. Trying so hard to hide the disappointment, the rejected feeling bubbling up inside, and attempting, unsuccessfully, to control the tears that threaten to trip her release valve, she speaks. Hugging her briefly after offering a few short words, ones which felt unsure and confusing, his face registering disappointment, he turns to leave the room.
Frozen. She’s completely frozen, standing in the middle of the bathroom floor, bare and exposed. It’s not because her body is unclothed, it’s because her mind is in a free fall, plummeting like a broken elevator screeching down the shaft with no emergency halt. There’s no air. Someone has squeezed it all out of her lungs in tight fists and won’t let go. She’s still, because she knows as soon as she moves, she’s going to the feel the crumble. But her knees can no longer bear her weight. The salty wetness is already streaking down her cheeks and over her lips, her chest is struggling to heave, her sobs are beginning to echo against the beige walls. The tiny room feels so vast and she needs to fold into her smallness. Yet, she cannot allow herself to crumble, to give in to the need and the hurt.
Stepping into the bath, she lowers herself into its warm embrace, but it’s of no comfort. In fact, it’s radiance is just a reminder of the embrace she truly needs. The one which just turned away from her and left the room. Rising from the depth of her, her cries take her breath away, her voice a slow, guttural song of pain and hurt, pulling at the chord of core pain and hurt in her which has existed for as long as she can remember.
Why?, her mind is repeating, Why? Why would you leave? Why am I not enough? Or am I just too much? Why, oh why, would you walk away when I need you so much, right now? How could you do that? It must be me. But this me needs you. I need you. Please, don’t walk away. Please come back. Please. Don’t you know how much I need you? How could you not know? I need you.
I need you to never walk away.
Pulling herself from the bath, she slips on her robe, still slightly wet, and walks down the stairs to him. Lying her head in his lap, arms locked around him, she let’s go and she crumbles as he pets her hair. She needs and she hurts. When she’s exhausted herself, she kneels facing him, and she offers him her bare, true self. The one who needs him, desperately, the one who must tell him how much it hurts when he forgets to follow through, the one who needs him to never walk away. He deserves her truth.
And he listens.