once and it went through my body like a light mist. My face was still.
Halfway through the second time reading it, my eyes started burning and my throat tightened slightly.
After the third time I read it, I finally sucked in some air and let my mouth droop open trying to push out at least some of the negative concoction of emotions I was not prepared to handle.
The steady beat of Dash Berlin played on and this reminded me that the world was still spinning. I got up from my bed and looked around my new room, a room that I cannot yet call home.
I could feel the pools swell under my lower lid but my mouth remained in a steady line. Down below in my stomach, my immature self was tugging viciously on the rope that would surely release the floodgate. But for some reason, my rational mind wouldn’t have it.
I breathed in slowly and felt the cool air in my lungs. “Maybe I’ll be okay,” I said.
I prepared a shower, making the mistake of inviting Dash Berlin as well.
Steaming water flooded my body and that was it. The floodgates were overwhelmed and so was I. I could feel my eyes pinch shut and my lungs hiccup for air but could not distinguish any tears from the hot waterfall drowning my face. Water matted my hair to my scalp, making me tiny and vulnerable. There seemed to be nothing more to the world than pain and hot water.
I blinked away droplets and looked down at my hands. Everything was blurry and I was ashamed. “The Night Time” rang through the flood and resonated in my chest to settle neatly around my heart.
I stared at the white tile of a shower that I could not yet call my own and forced myself to think and sob.
This was not how I pictured so many things. I did not imagine that my parents would paint and rearrange my room less than a week after I moved out making it seem as though I may not be welcome back. If, perhaps, that is no longer my home and if, perhaps, this is not yet my home, then where, exactly, is my home? Candles keep me company here. Little flames and self-criticisms. Oh, and concerns of money. When you consider those, I suppose that I am less alone than I thought I was.
I did not imagine that I would have such strong feelings for you with no such feelings in return. I did not imagine that you would warmly welcome my changed status and inform me of an impending change to yours. I did not imagine that you would hurt me as badly as you have or make me realize my own flaws as clearly as you have. I did not anticipate the level of honesty I received from you, and I am still attempting to deal with that in a productive way.
I did not imagine that I would develop such strong feelings for you again, feelings so strong, in fact, that it could potentially shift the dynamics of our relationship to my disadvantage, of course. I did not imagine that I could ever be so scared of you.
I did not imagine that I would fall back into the same destructive patterns. I anticipated positive changes in my life would be reflective in positive changes in myself. But I suppose this could be backwards logic.
The hot water was still stinging my back.
What I did not anticipate, above all else, was how drastically the world around me would change while I remained but the same, trying desperately to catch up to it but not quite knowing how. I was a toxin injected into my own life.
Water dripped down to my fingertips as I tightened the faucet to stop the flood of water. I took a few breaths and dried unnecessary tears and considered one simple thing, how may a toxin become its own antidote?