you wouldn’t let me help you with anything.

you wouldn’t let me help you with your shoes. instead, you asked me to warm up the car and wait there. i felt like a burden already, something you carried on your fractured spine, just to keep certain things intact, complete, a whole, and not falling apart.

when you finally climbed your jeep, you wanted to make sure that i was okay, that i didn’t have to drive you. you said you were fine and you’d be home right before supper. i said i was fine driving you with so much air in my mouth that i wasn’t sure you heard.

you looked at me smiling, and said nothing else for the rest of the drive.

i remember that one time you were this silent, we too were in a long drive home from your parents’ house. we had dinner with your family. you were great with them. you played Christmas songs on the piano and they sang to them. from the outside in, it was beautiful, like a lifetime movie. you finally brought home a girl they liked and you were nothing but loving and kind. you brought laughter into that house.

but the drive home was long and silent. it’s too quiet even with the radio on. there was commotion on the street, i tried to see what happened, but when i looked at you, see if you see what i saw, your eyes were icy glass, staring straight at the road ahead as if it’s our future in front of you, and you need to be extra careful.

i said, i love you.

i meant to comfort you but i guess i was trying to comfort me, too.

you turned slowly and smiled at me, you didn’t say a thing.

but i could hear it. i could hear what you were saying: i have only this life, sometimes it doesn’t even belong to me, that life.

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