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I walk with her down the road, her hand in mine. We had grown up here together. So how could she be so different?

She has eyes that catch the sun. They sparkle and glimmer and remind me of the life she used to have. And I feel sorrow for her.

She maintains her posture, her smile, and her laughter. Hair falls in dark strands, escapes from her loose ponytail and rests on her shoulder. She has dark hair, hair the color of some exotic, foreign wood. The sun rests along her head, drenches her brown-red hair in gold. I reach out my hand, stroke her hair and close my eyes. I come closer, smell the scent I knew was waiting for me; fresh grass. Like mornings in early October, her hair invites me in. The crisp, fresh scent soothes my nose.

I know her well. I know she likes her spaghetti sauce with no chunks. I know how afraid she is of spiral staircases. I know her darkest secrets, the kind that haunts a person... Make them fear themselves just as much as the people around them. I gaze upon her, lying down, eyes closed, smile showing her beautiful white teeth, I see her secrets creeping into the corners. Invading her like smoke. Smoke is unavoidable, you know. It creeps in, searches for the cracks in one's armor. It can find faults that someone like me could never detect. Smoke is harsh and cruel, and leaves behind dark marks on your walls that remind everyone who feels them, sees them, smells them, that you have been scarred.

She opens her eyes and blesses me with a smile. I sign the words to her, "Will it ever be easier for you? For us?"

She responds, hands much more sure than mine. My struggle to keep up only reminds me of all that we have lost. "No," She responds, "But that is okay. Love is beautiful... Kind. That’s one thing I know. As long as we have each other, love will treat us right."


Created: Apr 08, 2012


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