We agree to fall away from one another.
It is a free-fall, hands flailing for something to grasp midair and I wait for the impact because I always knew it was coming. The moment I crash to the ground is not fleeting. The pain drags out and this is way too painful to be right – all these blows to my gut and their aftershocks that pierce every sensation. I don’t stop bracing for those.
I get up, scramble to erase what I can get my hands on, playing tug of war with my father’s logic and my mother’s emotional heart. My parents battle as I tuck away words and photographs in drawers. This is good for me.
But gazing where we used to linger is unbearable. I tunnel underground, searching for new paths into my room that don’t pain me to walk without you. I shatter when my mind is unoccupied, so I enlist some help, diving underwater and into grid-lined force diagrams. I’m so good at that.
I don’t stop bracing but suddenly I’m not getting hit.
I’m far from where I landed my free-fall. A month or two or three has aged the place.
I recognize it. I want to explore this familiar terrain on foot and trip once or twice and see who’s here and maybe even fall again. No fear. It looks good out here.