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All or Nothing

“I’m worthless! You hear me? Worthless!” She screamed at me, throwing the empty bottle at my face. I ducked my head, the champagne carafe shattering on the chipping drywall behind me. “Just calm down, Sophie, I’ll help you.” She didn’t answer, sobbing into her arms, her thin shoulders heaving. I scooted closer, like a cautious animal on another’s territory. Hesitantly, I put my arms over her and pulled her into my embrace. She laid her head on my chest, crying uncontrollably. “I just. . . I just want to be . . . known!” My heart broke a little more with every word, but I managed to keep my voice unwavering “Shhhhh . . . its okay, everything’s going to be okay, I know you.” It seems like hours, but had to have been only a few minutes, when her crying subsided at first into soft whimpers and finally into only the occasional sniffle. I wondered if she knew how much her pain was hurting me. I wished she would listen when I said she was my whole world. Her eyes, like two scraps of the brightest sky, fallen down and got caught in her long lashes. Her hair, like the finest Indian corn, reminds me of the warm safe place, where as a child I’d hide, I know she is apt at whatever she put her mind to, but her dreams of fame and fortune are too big for her own good. Just one of a million wandering souls who didn’t know where their place in this world is yet, just floating from one thing to another. I’m with her, of course, wherever this life takes her. She breathes deep now, her anger at herself disappearing, unlike the fresh scars on her wrists. I hold her even closer, whispering sweet nothings into her ears. Her head slowly lowers, her eyes slowly close, and I cognize that dreams of flashing lights and acknowledgment dance in her head. Tomorrow her face will be bright and smiling again, hiding the truth behind those beguiling eyes. It’s five AM now and I love her, eight months ago I loved her, in six years, four months, and sixteen minutes I will still love her, I just hope she will be there all the time I’m still loving her.



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