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you think people don't care. maybe that's true, but it's more likely that they don't understand. or maybe they don't want to see you hurting anymore and turn a blind eye. some of them are all too familiar with the feeling of being burned, and for that reason alone, you choose to stray from them, not wanting to burden them with reliving their own tragic downfall.

anyone who knows you well enough knows you're a pro at putting on a brave face. you can smile and bear anything if you clench your teeth hard enough. your cheeks ache at the end of the day from all the smiles you've feigned hour after hour. with cyn away at school, there's no one to hear you cry. and you do, every night that you're alone, you cry yourself to sleep, overcome by the feeling of grief. you've failed. like everything you've ever done before, you've failed again.

scars are a testament to the love and relationship you had for, and with that person. if the scar was deep, so was the love. scars are a testament to life. scars are a testament that you can love deeply and live deeply, and be cut or even gouged, and that you can continue to do so. the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh. scars are a testament to life. scars are only ugly to people who cannot see.

you place your abandonment issues on the deep seeded problems you've faced in your formative years. with your father dead, it was always just you and your mother, but she checked out long before you ever got to know her. to this day, thirty years later, she still blames you for something you could not have done, or could not have prevented. if it weren't for your extended family, you would be an orpahn. you hate the idea of being so utterly alone like that, but at the same time you realize you've been so used to it all your life that the easy days now seem like a cake walk. you're conflicted every step of the way.

some people are uncomfortable because you are sad. they claim they care and want to help, but you can tell that what they really mean is get over it already and pay attention to me. maybe a couple of times they even said it, just not so blatantly. you try to focus on them, but everything pushes the wrong buttons and you're irritable before long. most days, this is the only thing you feel. if you're not sad, you're angry. sometimes this is the only way for you to tell you feel anything at all.

there are days when actions stop being actions and become nouns. coffee. keys. coffee. coffee. coffee. you are so numb to everything that you're thankful for the routine you've set in place. these are the days you don't allow yourself to stray too far off the beaten path. you have a goal, and it's to make through in one piece without giving up your secret.

you think about taking off. maybe more than you should, but it's not something you can stop right away. sometimes you think of going somewhere different, like denver or portland. change your name, adopt an entirely new life and forget about boston and everything you've come to know over the last decade. other days, you consider taking a trip to seattle to see them. the family you lost. maybe if not them, then your mother. certainly she thinks of you sometimes, although you doubt it. if a woman hasn't spoken to her only child in 14 years, there's a reason. instead, you sit tight. you ride this out as best as you can, smiling until you can't.

it comes in waves. first they're 100 feet high. they crash down on something that was so beautiful and so pure and leave it in shambles all around you. you're gasping for air, constantly afraid of drowning when you learn how hard it is to keep your head above water. baby steps. sometimes they're only 80 feet high. other days, 50. you consider these days to be small victories, and while they are still very difficult, you are certain this is the light at the end of the tunnel. you tread lightly. day by day, clarity sets in and it gets better a little bit at a time. sometimes it doesn't last long. sometimes it's a week. but eventually, you learn that it's okay. it's okay because it proves you still feel something. it's okay to not talk about it because it's personal. it's your pain and you don't want to share it. you don't want to move on entirely, because there's so much to hold on to, but little by little, you can feel it getting better.