Thistles

I know brokenness. It has always been something I have understood. So when you stand there telling me that you are broken, what do you think is my first thought?

I think about the time I spent memorizing the freckles on your shoulder blades, and the time I spent staring idly at bumblebees, thinking of your favourite poem. I remember the way you looked at me when you asked me, “Isn’t it nice being stardust?” and the way our toes broke through white ice like it was glass.

I remember late-night hot chocolate runs, and the time I forgot how to breathe when I realized the extent of your beauty. I remember running my fingers through your hair and offering a silent prayer of gratitude to a God I’m not sure exists.

I remember early-morning bus rides I never wanted to take, and how it felt to first touch your hand with mine. I remember diary entries I tried not to write with shaking fingers and loopy handwriting. I remember daydreams that turned into nightmares and hours spent waiting for you that turned into millenniums.

I remember being broken once years ago, on a bathroom floor slick with blood and tears. I remember pounding my head against brick walls, screaming “I hate you” over and over again because those were the only words the voices in my head could understand. I remember what it’s like to watch everyone fly around you when your wings have been clipped.

But I also remember the day I first met you, and the day we first became friends, and the day you first kissed me, and the day you hugged me so hard that all of my broken pieces found their way home. And I know that someday, someone will do the same thing for you.

It might not be me.

The thought echoes through my head even now, writing this. The demons whose voices once whispered in my ear are suddenly awake with those words, and I’m trying, God I’m trying, so hard to tell them to leave. But my voice, along with the rest of me, is a little broken.

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