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A Closed Bottle

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My emotions don’t flow like the ink of a pen. My emotions don’t have the steady release of a liquid. My emotions are the contents of an un-openable bottle. They are the swirling secret fluid that nobody gets to taste. It’s the tightly wound bottle that doesn’t open, and doesn’t break. No matter how many times you hit it against a solid wall, or throw it to the floor, or try to shatter it with your bare hands, it will remain intact. It won’t shatter, or crack, or give. My emotions stay inside so nobody can see them, touch them, or taste them.

The best part about the bottle is the intricate designs it has. It is beautiful, like the mask of perfectly fake emotions that I wear. It’s so much prettier on the outside than it is on the inside.

And those people try to open it with brute force, while it only opens to kind, gently hands, and patience. So once, a boy found it, and over time, opened it with gentle hands, kind words, and patience. The liquid was like a poison to the surface of the bottle. It twists and morphs until it no longer looks the same as it did before my secrets, my emotions, were spilled.

But he didn’t throw the bottle away once he opened it. He saved the bottle, and knew the secrets, but he didn’t use them to hurt me. And he was the only person who knew what the liquid tasted like, knew what it looked like beyond the bottle. He knew my stories, and I knew his. And then it was just us; I never had to bottle it up for him. The mask was pointless, the bottle, meaningless.

So instead of pouring it all into a bottle, my mouth turned into a vent. It was an open vent, and I told him everything. He didn’t have to pry, he just knew. He knew when something was wrong, and I never had to spell it out for him. It was amazing.

But for others, the vent that was my mouth was shut, and the mask went on. It was like that for everyone: my parents, my other friends, my siblings, and the remainder of the people in my life. There were always those people, who came to school with their problems to vent, and I would help, or try to at least, but I could never tell them mine.

I would morph my stories to make it sound like I didn’t completely depend on that boy who knew everything. I made it sound as if we were only friends, as if I didn’t care as much as I always did. And they believed me.

Then there was another friend that came along, and she opened the bottle too. She was the only friend I could vent to truthfully. I didn’t lie to her, not like I did to my other friends. I didn’t have to pretend that he was annoying because they think I’m weak.

But it started to fall apart once. There was a time when I didn’t know what to do, and I thought I lost him. That was the first time that the bottle cracked, and so much of that liquid emotion leaked out. I cried. At school, where anybody looking could have seen me, but it got better, and I didn’t lose him.

It got better since then, but that bottle is still cracked. There’s a wide piece of tape across it, and it stays in. Nothing leaks, and the tape stays on. It doesn’t slip, or peel. It’s on like glue, and I hope it never comes off.

Still, I fake those stories to those people who I know would think I’m weak. Though I tell people some things, they don’t know everything. Some question why I’m still even with the boy who opened the bottle first. The truth is I love him, but I can’t go around telling people that. They think I’m stupid. They think I’m weak, that I fall in love too fast. That he’ll use me and leave, and leave me broken. And I won’t have a person pity me for something that isn’t even going to happen. So I don’t tell them, and I make up some small lies.

And then my mouth is that vent again around those two people. My friend, and the boy I love. And they know everything, and they don’t judge me. They’re there, and that’s what makes them golden to me. That’s what makes them constant. That’s what makes them the two people I will never forget, even if I lose them. And I never plan to.

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