I made the mistake one day of asking a girl if she was alright.
She looked at me with grateful eyes
Her sadness tumbling over the rims of her lids
Pouring into my veins.
I hate that people ask questions and don’t care to hear the answer.
I hate that people don’t notice that you’ve stopped eating
Until the numbers become an equation to your self-worth.
I hate that people tell you you’re beautiful only after putting on the mask.
And I hate that people forget to hold their hands out in front of them,
Accepting instead of bracing.
I keep praying to this unknown God I’m not quite sure I believe in,
But I pray anyway to see if I might get an answer.
I pray for the people awake at 3 AM
And those who cry themselves to sleep at night
The people addicted as their cuts grow deeper
And the healers
And the patients
And the teenagers who are afraid.
I pray for myself.
Because I’m not quite sure what else to do.
And I’m hoping that if God doesn’t answer my call,
Someone else will.
And they won’t look at me, their eyes whispering, “I’m sorry”
To fill the silence that I felt coming.
I keep praying that someone will ask me
If I’m okay
And not be surprised when I’m not.
When I fall to pieces in front of them
And find them reaching out to catch me.
I’m waiting for that warmth
The knot of happiness in my throat
To last forever.
I’m waiting to climb trees again and not be afraid of falling
To wake up each morning and take the time to have breakfast
I miss having cartoons and pancakes every Sunday morning
Never feeling like I was running up a down escalator.
I hate that fists and screaming are the new solution to every problem
And the feeling of frustration I get when I can’t fix something
I’m tired of breathing in pain like water vapor
That no one else deserves.
I sat down next to the girl softly and slid my hand into hers
Looking at her with no pity, but concern
I could feel the fire behind my eyes as she stared back
Surprised, but hesitant
As if waiting for me to say to her the disappointing “I’m sorry”
That has fallen with driving force upon her ears
Far too many times.
But I didn’t.
I told her I understood and felt it too
The cry for help deep down
But the fear that you could not be saved.
I felt it.
And I reassured her that rescue was within her grasp.
Eventually she believed me.
Asking that girl if she was alright
Was the best mistake I ever made.
I miss when people used to make mistakes like that.