What can I tell you about the anger…? About the way it pools in your fingertips, rushing hot up your cheeks, sitting heavy behind your teeth.
For all those injustices you were subjected to. The ridicule. The broken promises. The clear-cut advantage that was taken.
What can I tell you about the pain…about how you strained against the sharp end, your forced smile reflecting white against the blade. About the absolute terror right before you succumbed over and over and over again.
What can I tell you about frustration…tears scalding down the inside of your throat, a small dilution of your own overbearing insufficiency. Nails clawing, scratching “why why why?” into the edges of your palms.
What can I tell you about despair…
Be still because I can’t tell you, not without having her place an icy hand on my shoulder again.
But I will tell you. I will brave her again. For you.
I will tell you about her desolate house and eyes and serving platter. The way she makes the night a void and the morning a slur. You will graze your knees when you come crashing to them on her floor but she doesn’t want that.
She wants you to stay.
She wants to draw the curtains and lock the doors and she wants you to stay.
But you must leave, come morning. You must take your shackles with you and you must walk out. Because for all her grip she cannot keep you there unless you are complicit. Promise me that you’ll leave.
And no, you won’t find your way back to the places you recognize. By the time you get back, you would have changed too much anyway. But for now…
For now bring your shackles. Let the clamour of your anguish make more noise than is necessary – it is the sweetest music where you’re going…
Walk to where the light is harsh and the air pierces your battle-worn lungs.
Now let the pieces fall, now let them slip through your fingers and shatter, everything you so carefully held on to. You’re at the altar of Strength and the way was long but first you make must make a sacrifice.
The anger. The pain. The frustration. The masks too.
And for the first time you will realise how tightly you clung onto them. It wasn’t the other way around.
It was always you.
Though your grip may tighten and though you may squeeze your eyes shut for fear of the unknown,
I ask you…unwind your fingers, look up.
The time has come to surrender to a Will other than your own.