Poetry · Writing

Friendship

It is late at night. You are sitting next to me.
Every guard is lowered by the lack of eye contact.
My eyes stay on the winding double yellow.
Your pupils dance in the ghost reflections on the windows
You’re watching the world rush past as you listen.
I feel like I can breathe, even with all the powerful words bouncing around.
There is more space in this car than in most friendships.
I have turned down the heavy bass laced soundtrack,
And spent the last ten minutes relaying stories.
Not everything I say is the happiness I show others
But I am bragging that I am some kind of healthy.
When I am calm and emptied of the darkness
that’s been clawing at my insides for weeks
I glance at you and there is a smile waiting for me.
There is something in that smile that is pure kindness.
Something rare and special. You care.
There is love in you, for others despite your darkness.

My thoughts wander to you in my boyfriend’s kitchen
You are grinning at me over a cookie cupcake.
All I can think is that you are pure purple in that moment.
The excitement in your eyes is like a sparkling fire
I hope the joy is contagious as my lips tug into a smile.

You start spilling your shredded guts
A response equal to my own unburdening.
I grin to myself in the darkness
Knowing you needed to say these words.
Your voice drips with poison.
You are angry and for a short moment I am surprised
This is different than the girl I see in public.
Perhaps it is the darkness, the season, and the hour.
But somehow I know that in a small way I have earned some kind of trust.
You finish the short rant you needed to expel
quickly, without taking a breath, you punctuate everything with a laugh
A forgiveness, an apology, something to lessen the statements
I am more surprised by this abrupt about face.
Then I would be if you were targeting me.

You were letting it all go and then you pulled it back
Who told you, you couldn’t get angry?
When did you learn to keep everyone happy?
I want to pull over and turn to you.
To assure you that these feelings are valid.
All I do now is take a long look to my right.
This moment might haunt me.
It feels as if your giving up on feeling better.
Like no matter how much you want to give up the poison
You would rather swallow it to keep everyone else comfortable.
There is a part of me that knows you suffer in silence.
A part of me that knows the joy is not always truthful
But now I am angry that somewhere, sometime, someone taught you to keep it to yourself
If I have learned anything I know that choosing to drown yourself
Is something taught, and something deadly.
I rush to agree with your anger
I try to ignore your apologetic laugh
You do not need to be sorry.

For the rest of the night, I notice the laughter
The hollow echoes of a half felt lie
I want to say something but I am too shy
I know you don’t want saving
I know you only need a listener
I am not confident in this friendship enough to say something
I let my hug linger when I say goodbye.
Wishing I was a better person so I could be trusted to help the purest of hearts.

More than anything I wish to give back to someone who gave me so much.

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