Instead

from Concerning Nemosyn

I saw you yesterday. You were shorter than I remembered, and for the first time I could see that your chin is crooked. Why could I not see that? When I studied your face so closely for so many years. I spoke to you in my mind and you did not hear.

It wasn't like that, Andrew. Nothing I said was real. It was all so careful, every word placed carefully to ensure total privacy of self.

It happened then, Andrew. You know when. When I changed, when I fell and twisted inside. In the cold days following you held me up, thinking one thing and avoiding the truth, that Other Thing that was between us and never between us.

Do you remember the day behind the book shelves when you took the tablets away from me? Or the day I sliced my wrist in class, under the desk and only you ever saw it, ever knew. And you didn't say a thing. Not a word. I liked that.

I laughed when I thought of the irony. It was hysterical, crazy laughter that should never have happened. My life had been taken away and I laughed at what you thought, that you believed I was so good and innocent. So very innocent. I did not know the words for what had happened. I had not labels for what I was doing. You did and you laughed, thinking it was all a lie. It was a lie, Andrew, but not in the way you thought. It was all a lie.

And now, in the time following, we speak as though none of that ever existed. You tell me about your girlfriend. I tell you about my year. You laugh and for the first time you are beyond me. You have reached the point where I no longer know what buttons to press to make you laugh or yell. I am gone from you, separated, whisked away by the horror of truth. You do not know. I speak to you in my mind and you do not hear.