As I walked down the rough uneven sidewalk, hell started to make a home for itself in the recesses of my mind. I didn’t mind, that’s what I told myself. Lately, hell’s visits have become more frequent, more imperative, more demanding to the point where I constantly remind myself to prepare a plush cushion for him to recline on as I make myself accustomed to his presence, swallowing him like the last drops of champagne during a cold, lonely night.
We sat across each other, hell and I, and the next thing I know, his eyes were on mine, and mine on his, locked in a mutual leer. We clashed, but we barely moved. Every inhalation was an invisible parry, every exhalation was a deft counterstrike. We sat for hours on end, but ultimately, my mind has a breaking point while his had none. I raised my white flag, just like every other battle we had prior to this. I didn’t fight to win; that never happens. I fought with every intention to survive; but one can only fight for so long until the body seeks compromise for the soul’s unrest.
It wasn’t the first time I fought my demons; it wasn’t the last time my hollow heart shook from the irrational whispers of my mind; it wasn’t going to be the last time I’d feel like everyone’s out to get me, hurt me; it wasn’t the first time my trust issues had gotten the best of me; it wasn’t the first time I entertained them with the enthusiasm and reluctance of a virgin attempting intercourse for the first time. They preyed on me like a parasite, and I was the ever-wiling host.
“Thanks for tonight, babe,” he said as he kissed my lips.
What does it mean? My mind nagged.
Suddenly the picture of us kissing was altered ever so slightly, it painted another picture of him still locked in a kiss, but with someone other than me.
Was it a parting kiss? A Judas Kiss? A sign of impending betrayal?
The cacophony in my mind was so loud, I never noticed his lips leave mine. I gave him a plaintive smile and a languid kiss on his cheek and forehead like I usually do.
“Take care, okay?” The words left my mouth so plainly, the deeper meaning I had intended was obscured by the relative nonchalance of my choice of words; words that upon translation screamed: “Take care of yourself, please don’t cheat on me. Don’t screw anyone else while I’m outside that door. I’ve given you more trust than I usually do. Don’t break it. Please. Don’t play with my feelings, don’t make me feel insufficient, don’t hurt me. Don’t. Don’t. Don’t.”
To him, “take care” may be a parting statement; for me it meant something close to a plea that never left the barriers of my lips.
He hugged me and we parted. “Thanks for being there for me,” he said. “Don’t mention it,” I smiled. “I’m here for you.”
But will you end up abusing my good intentions? Are you gonna take me for granted knowing I’ll always be there for you? Are you gonna mess around since my loyalty is never in question?
My mind continued to nag, regurgitating thoughts that remained to be thoughts since I had no intention of bestowing life to them in the form of haphazard speech or anything relatively close to that.
We released each other from the hug and with one final look, I walked away, and hell was only very eager to keep up his pace with mine. I was greeted with repulsive thoughts, thoughts involving him wrapped around somebody else’s arms, caught in somebody else’s lips, entangled around somebody else’s body.
With every step, gravity steadily weighed me down, emphasizing the weight of my mind bearing down on my soul, outlining in black the sweetness of my singularity, highlighting the climax of my personal calamity. I sauntered on, praying for daylight to come and chase the demons away. Perhaps only then shall I find peace in my everyday unrest.
I know I’m not supposed to tame my demons, but this isn’t exactly keeping them on a leash either.