Memories used to use my mind as an amusement park; I lived in them, lived in the past, where everything was still as bright and precisely ordered as if it were only yesterday that I stood in the hallway, cheeks red, trying not to cry because he had left me.

It hurt to relive it all. But it hurt more when I would realize that it had happened years ago, and that I was letting the fear of pain and disappointment control who I was and how I lived my life.

And so I kept on dreaming the dream. Lived the opium...breathed in the pipe-nightmares so that I wouldn't have to face Today.

I know for a fact, looking back on it, that a few people tried to break through my self-imposed fences. They would brutally shove their way past the preliminaries and suddenly be bombarded with poison gas and a vicious tongue. And they would leave.

Then you, so softly that I didn't notice until it was too late...you came up behind me and just hugged me. Didn't say anything. Simply wrapped your arms around me and let my tears and your soothing aloe-vera whispers carry me away and out of the crashing torrent of shattered memories.

You couldn't erase the past. But you forced me out of my downward spiral into forever animating my fears. Now they are ghost shapes seen only in shadow. And only when I want to see them.

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