Even though I couldn’t write perfect as a quality on my resume, I wanted so bad to be runner up. My clothes had to be spread out for the next day regardless of how random our plans turned out. While both of us worked full time jobs, clocking out at night was our motivation to let time pass on its own. The longer I watched the minutes wind down, the slower the sun took to rest its shine.
Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
There was always one last step to end my shift. As I released the garbage bag from my hand, I anticipated the doors closing behind it. Each stride I took toward my car became longer so that I didn’t have to take as many steps. I wasn’t trying to waste any time. The curfew I had repeated itself persistently. But I’d be lying if I said pushing the limit wasn’t on our agenda. We wanted to make the most of our time together, even though we had created what seemed like a routine after our shifts ended. But that was never enough… for every inch of rope he threw at me I tugged a little harder. I was weightless around him. I didn’t feel the outside pressures of school, work, and family. The person he pulled out of me abruptly put an end to all my misery. There was no way I was letting this go.
But there it was… that backburner hissing at me and shedding its light. My mental health was at risk and I tried with all I had to not make it evident. My body transformed into the witch that constantly played with my emotions. I disputed almost every detail he shared with me and released the rope until further notice. Was I the only girl on his mind? Did he truly believe that what we had was special? Pretty… could that word even be used in the same sentence as me? I had to fight away these nasty thoughts like a cold in the midst of winter. All I wished for was to enjoy the chilly nights we spent on the dock. Our bodies swayed closer together as the waves underneath us clashed. The smile on my face was actually r e a l. But my anxiety was soon going to take over the thrown.
If I were to give a rundown of how this devil thrived off of the love I was surely growing, his face would never return. Our touch would no longer meet and the sparks would dim to nothing. He couldn’t… he would never meet the ME that I go to war with every day.
I had to protect my conflicting identity even when the cargo added a weight that I couldn’t pull. We were slowly becoming obsessed with each other and the road ahead of me was finally one I could travel.
One wrong move, Courtney, it would be over. Protect him from the anxiety trying to command your life.
Protect him from that hissing flame.