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And I breathe. I breathe and I think about the girl with the sunshine voice, with the hair made of silk and the smile that could light up the world. I think of all I know of her. Her dark passions she keeps under lock and key, hidden behind rainbows and kittens, a testament that she isn't as innocent as she seems. She shares this part of herself so rarely; only the internet and I know how deep her darkness goes. I sit and I think of the first meeting, so awkward so naive, neither of us knew how important the other would be to keeping our sanity.
We were like little boats caught in a hurricane, the stormy seas threatening to overtake us until we found each other, we made one good anchor between us and survived. I think of the late nights on the phone, it started out at nine and suddenly it's three in the morning, we have school in just a few hours, but just one more whispered promise needs to escape before we can hang up. I know her like the back of my hand. It's been five years since we first met, I remember it like it was yesterday. Standing in a field dreading the game ahead of us, neither of us liked softball but it was a game we had to play. I remember a lot of things like they were yesterday. I remember walking through the halls of the school, late to class but holding hands, not a teacher in sight who would try to stop us. I think about how our personalities match so effortlessly—complete opposite, yet the same. Sometimes I used to think we would make the perfect person, a beautiful contradiction but one that contained steel in their veins and a heart bursting with love.
But time has weathered us. I can still trace the constellations in her freckles, I can still pinpoint the exact moments where her words lit a fire inside of me I never imagined would go out. But I no longer know her as part of me, my hand seems to hold no secrets of another's life. Her absence is like a giant hole in me, black and circling, threatening to become all-consuming. I feel seeds beginning to bloom, roots growing and pushing their way deeper and I know it as betrayal. I taste its bittersweetness as I feel it bloom in my lungs, filling them, suffocating me. My tears have been replaced with their bitter nectar as thoughts of her actions circle through my mind like a scene from a nightmare, cold and haunting.
There is a type of acceptance in this pain. One that words fail to describe, one that leads me down a path I had never considered before. A path where she isn't walking beside me, holding my hand and lighting the way. My future on this path has become so uncertain and I must learn how to survive the darkness on my own. Unstable footing beneath me on a ground that feels as if it's made of brittle wood I'm never sure if I will make it to the end. But there is a strength in this solidarity. One I had thought that I had long ago lost. The steel in my veins grows ever harder as it spreads through my heart. Preparing me for whatever comes next like internal armor.
The darkness whispers to me, it can smell the blood spilling from my broken heart and I am reminded that old wounds run deep. So I sit and think and breath, and somewhere in the darkness, I ask the voices to teach me how to use my fangs to kill again.