Poetry

Stratosphere II

“You were
my lifeline,
and I knew it —
but I still tried
to push you away.”

You were my lifeline, and I knew it — but I still tried to push you away. It was a test, in a sense — one meant for both of us. I wasn’t perfect, nor would I ever be, but I wanted you to be happy. And you couldn’t have that with me.

I locked away my pain, and, at the same time, I wanted you to think I was done with us. But you stayed. Even as I saw the pain in your eyes, you still wanted me to say the words out loud.

“Tell me to leave — no,” you began, “tell me why, and I’ll go. But if you want me to stay, I’ll stay. I’ll always stay.”

I wasn’t sure how to respond to those words, but I couldn’t force myself to do it. Maybe I was selfish. Maybe I was too weak to do it. In the end, I said that I wanted you to stay, no matter how weak such a confession made me feel.

But the best part? You lived up to your promise. Fifteen years later, you’re still here, giving me the same affirmations. I don’t know where I would be if I lied and forced you to leave. Would I have survived? Would you be happier?

I’m the lucky one.

© Sarah Doughty

(If you haven’t already, read part one here.)

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25 thoughts on “Stratosphere II”

  1. This line is so beautiful, “’Tell me to leave — no,’ you began, ‘tell me why, and I’ll go. But if you want me to stay, I’ll stay. I’ll always stay.’” Such a feeling of warmth and love in those words.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I very much remember that day. It was a slow decline in our relationship and I was pushing him away. This was before I remembered the worst of my abuse, too. So, while I didn’t yell at him to go, he was still confused about what I was feeling and doing. He wanted me to say what I needed to say, but I think he knew me well enough (or hoped he did) that I wouldn’t have the courage to lie to his face and push him away for good. So far, even now, years after remembering the worst, even a therapist that managed to morph a memory of my past with him, and everything he has resting on his shoulders (because I can’t bear the weight of anything more on mine), he still maintains that he’ll never leave. That he’s happy where he is.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re totally welcome! 🙂

        On a side note, I was reading “Just Breathe” at work today (in between patients) and I reached the point where Zoe put that spell on Connor. I was seriously like “O.M.G.” when Aisling broke the charm and they told her that she just made the spell permanent. I was like “How is she going to get him out of this?” 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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