I’m holding you. Your venomous skin against my thin coated body; I’m destined to melt in this cup of misery. I don’t even get to drown. Your flaky skin feels oddly smooth against mine. Skin that was once so strong I thought it could evaporate my very being. Skin I imagined slicing open at moments of sadness, and anger, and confusion. Skin I stood outside your door at 3 a.m. to feel to remember that you’re still human. Skin I resented you for. You tighten your grip around my hands and I remember all my scars from the million times for the million years they planted on me. My body wasn’t a temple. It was a punching bag for you to concentrate all your anger on. I was the letter you wrote to your parents for all the mistreatment all the misery all the sadness they caused you. I was a letter you never sent. I was a letter you watched burn in the sink when everyone’s asleep. I hold words you wish you never felt. I hold words you want to scream out at the water, alone in the dark.
You’re weak despite your big frame. It’s so misleading. You want me to hold you, to stay by your side, to keep you safe and protected. Your arms can no longer open doors, turn knobs, press buttons. I remember how strong they once were. I remember the power and energy in every strike every blow every swing. I remember how effortless it was for you to tear my small frame apart. Legs that barely carry you kicked me down, broke me, cracked open a gaping hole in my body, breached my innocence, fractured my mind, tore me apart.
You grab onto my waist to keep yourself warm and I wrap my arms around you, running one hand through your thinning hair: so red, so soft. Your heartbeat is a hurricane against your skin. I feel it in your arms, your chest, your back; you’re human. A weak human in need of me and I stay because my heart beats the same since I was 6. It beats the same since my earliest memory. I was young. I wanted to play with my toys. I wanted friends, chocolate, and all the cookies my body needed for the day. I longed for a childhood but I wasn’t a child, I wasn’t human. I stepped onto different land. The sky isn’t pink. The clouds aren’t edible. There aren’t any puppies, bunnies, unicorns, elves, lakes of chocolate or a rainbow I can slide on. The ground underneath me is painted red and it’s hot — it’s so hot in here — I’m suffocating. I think I can see some color in a distance. I think I can hear kids laughing. My mind is telling me to run. Run, Yazi. Run as fast as you can as far as you can for as long as you can. Run and run until your shoes wear off and your skin is bleeding. Run through the heat run until your body collapses from all the water it lost. Run … but my blood is frozen because my heart doesn’t want me to run. A heart that refuses to live.
I wonder if you’re satisfied that I’m still here. You were always afraid that I’ll go away. You look up at me, planting a soft smile on my face. A smile that says I got you, I’m here, I’ll never leave. Our eyes meet and I notice just how old yours are. They’re blurry. They look like a landscape in a morning of a polluted city but they’re beautiful. I hold my gaze as I try to contain my composure because I remember. I remember being at your mercy, crying, begging you to stop. I can’t see anymore because the world is spinning around me. I can’t breathe anymore because I can’t stop screaming. I can’t cry anymore because my voice is cracking, fading, dying like I should have. I don’t know if I should scream or cry or breathe. I’m doing all three and I fall to the ground with my eyes wide shut asking for someone to save me. Where is God? I need God. Why can’t God take me away from here? Is it because I had a cookie for lunch? Is it because I bought chocolate milk instead of juice? I look up and I’m begging you to stop, begging you to let me breathe, let me live, let me lay here on the rough carpet wishing I was dead because in death I wouldn’t feel pain. Your eyes are red and your face is changing. It’s becoming darker, scarier. I see blood forming on your forehead, I see your skin dry up, I see gray lines around your cheeks; I see your nose turn black. I can’t see you anymore.
You looked terrifying. You looked like a monster. You are a monster I love because I don’t know what it’s like to be loved. I love you because abuse equals love to me, neglect equals love to me, pain equals love to me and I don’t know if I’m ready to experience any other form of love. I don’t know if I’m powerful enough to stand up on my two feet and say: I’m human.