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Breaking in 5 Almost-Equal Parts.
Honestly, it's scary.
I wake up in the middle of the night, kicking my legs out of the restraints that are my blankets. I can feel my heart pounding and you sitting on my chest; my lungs compressing and my ribs caging my heart and protecting it from you.
I open my jaw and try so hard to scream; to make a noise in the darkness other than my parents' suffocated snores and my brother's burning whispers across the hall. You're haunting his dreams, too.
Running through the cold, wooden house. Barefoot, the floorboards feel soft beneath my toes, but I don't focus on it. Up and down the stairs. Up and down. And then I run from house to house, ABCs running through my mind in an attempt to calm myself.
You chase me and catch up quickly--I was never a runner, never.
Your bright green down jacket somewhat softens the blow of your flesh and bones and muscles and capillaries upon my heart's cage.
You tear at my hair until I scream and I can't, I can't breathe.
I can feel where each of your fingers grip my neck and create bruises to remind me.
The inflection you forced on the last syllable on my name plays over and over again, like my dad's broken Bob Dylan record.
I get it: times are changing. For me, at least, they certainly are.
I buried this; I thought I buried this a long time ago. I left because of you; I haven't had to see your face in nearly two years. But don't worry, I can map out every inch of where your flesh stretches over your bones. Your collarbone; your shoulder blades; your hips.
I wish I could haunt you for the rest of your life. I wish you were the one sitting in the shower at two o'clock every morning, trying to scrub me off of your contaminated skin for hours and hours on end until your skin is raw red and burning.
I wish that you knew where all the freckles on my body were and that they cycled around in your mind while you're trying to sleep.
I guess it doesn't work like that.