There was a time, not so long ago when I would associate her with rainbows. Painted in vivid colours, soul bursting, heart pounding. She was sensual tints of expression. She used to be at home in her own skin.

'Baby...' She called in a whisper, pushed down the stairs with just enough force so it reached my ear.

I remained silent, where I was sipping coffee from a chipped tea cup on the kitchen floor.

'Baby... I simply cannot bear to face the world. It is far too loathsome for me to even consider today.' Followed by a barely audible whisper, 'Call work for me?'

She lost her job two months back. It has been a while since the prospect of her remaining in bed day after day stirred up much of a reaction in me. It has been a while since I first put the alcohol and medication under lock and key. She finds the energy to appear downstairs too rarely for the four steak knives in their kitchen drawer to be much of a threat to my angel's delicate ivory skin.

Seems to me that she cried more often in happier times. Tears are too much effort now, and only flow in sporadic frustration.

My chain of thought often pauses to focus on why I never paid enough attention to the cracks which developed in her months before she shattered.

'I love you...'

She lies upstairs, a mere shell of the girl I fell for.

She sleeps while I lie awake at night, opening her glazed gray-green eyes intermittently, as if to confirm my presence beside her.

She purses her lips, a muted shade of their usual red splendour, and looks into my soul with such intensity it takes my breath away.

Broken, I love her still.

to: the woman who paints the words of my dreams, and believed this nodeshell mine to fill... the friend who told me it was my turn...
and the man who accepts me and all my sigh inducing conversations for what they are.

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