Photo by Keelan Tollefson
Lying next to him I feel so safe, so protected, as if the rest of the world has come to a stand still. I snuggle into my space and I now know that this is what I do this for, this makes it worth it. I’m almost afraid to go to sleep. What if it’s a dream? What if when we wake in the morning it’ll be like every other day. Like the act of sleep has erased everything as if it didn’t happen.
I lie next to him, too scared to move in case I wake him, almost holding my breath. Even blinking causes me to think twice. I just want to lay in this moment, with his warm heavy breath on the back of my neck, his arm a protective shield against the rest of the world. I don’t want this to end. And with my thought , as if he’s heard, he mumbles in his sleep, like a giant ogre turns over noisily and puts his back to me. And here I am back in the cold spot, with no protective shield; I’ve lost him... well for tonight anyway.
Still I lie motionless, if I have lost him I don’t want to wake him, that would be worse than waking him in ‘our moment’. In my cold spot I try to think has it always been like this? How did it start? Is it really that bad? They always talk of bruises and cuts, that’s never happened, so maybe this isn’t bad, this is good, he loves me, he does it because he loves me.
From 16 to 18 I lost me. From 18 to 26 I was still trying to find me. With my 27th birthday fast approaching I am making some sense of me. I didn't feel it start, I didn't see it start and I didn't realise how skilled he was at his craft. Like a man with an ice pick, chipping away to reveal a masterpiece: except he let me melt.
Now I look at what I have and to write and wallow in the past would mean that I am still a puddle. I look over at the one who is fixing me, who doesn't care that I am mostly insane and loves me for every crazy thing I think and do and who holds my hand in the dark and makes me feel safe, always, forever. I wish every woman who is lost in the dark could see that it doesn't have to be forever but YOU have to be the one to stretch out your arm and switch on the light.
I switched my own light on, he just makes sure it never burns out