Keep Moving

She slams down the phone, another bucket of bad news dropped on her head. Her phone lands next to the growing stack of bills. She hasn’t even taken her shoes off, barely had time to hang up her keys.
She’s loaded down at work, becoming the one all others turn to. A sense of pride riding along with the stress of an overwhelming load of work. Putting in overtime has become the norm.
Her mind is foggy, tired, but constantly anxious and moving from thought to thought. The medication is supposed to help with the overflow of anxiety, but it doesn’t seem to work like she expected.
He relies on her. If she gives up now, everything they’ve worked for will be for naught. She has to keep moving. The years of tight money, long hours, and the emotional rollercoaster of love that is restricted to less than 24 hours every two weeks… Will it ever end?
She can’t give up. Her eyes burn and a lump moves from the bottom of her throat slowly to the top, threatening to cut off her air supply. Her chest is constricting, the walls are moving in. She closes her eyes and take a deep breath. Picking up the basket in the hallway she moves to the bedroom. Sitting in her underwear and an oversized shirt on the bed she folds. “Keep moving” she tells herself. She glances at the orange bottles on the nightstand and contemplates what she knows she’ll never do. The responsibility, the weight of the domino affect it would cause stops her. She’s always thought too much, analyzed too much.
What would happen tonight if she didn’t think? What would happen if she just did? What if she just did something without worrying about the outcome? What if she just went to sleep for a couple extra hours?
She picks up the next towel and as silent tears slip from moist eyes, she tries to remember the end result. A life without financial burden, a life of finer things, a life that includes buying that cute top she sees in the window display, the business suit that would give her a confidence boost, the sexy black dress that would show just enough to get the mind wondering.
Tonight she cries, but it doesn’t stop her from doing what she has to. Tears may blur her vision, but they can’t hold her back. This is what she does. She becomes overwhelmed and in the silent of the night without another soul around to see, she cries. She cries when he can’t see. She cries alone because it would crush him, he’d drop out and she wouldn’t be able to live with herself. When he gets home, she’ll be asleep, her cheeks will no longer be flush, her tears will have dried, and he’ll continue believing she is strong.
She’s always been able to cover her emotions well. Always known how to keep her best face forward. Always known how to make people think she isn’t affected. Always known how to keep moving.

She & He

He reaches for my hand and time stands still. My heart leaps forward. If there had been a cliff in front of me, my heart would have jumped off without a second thought. My mind withdraws and tries to hide inside the cave before the cliff. If I give him my hand now, everything would change. If I walk away I could stay comfortable in my shell, comfortable in this world I’ve built for myself.

His dark eyes smile and draw me closer to the edge. I stare into their depths and wonder how far down he’d let me fall. How hard would the bottom be? Would he catch me? I could stay here in this cave, I could know with every shred of my being I’m safe. Can I really let my heart rest in his hands? 

The more I hesitate, the more his eyes lose their light. I can see the hurt he’s starting to feel. My fingers tingle. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end. My heart starts to beat faster, thudding against my rib cage, begging to take the fall, but can I really trust anyone again? I think I maybe could.

The rain against the window taps hard, drowned out only by the occasional thunder. Cars pass in the street sending a shower of water onto the sidewalk. I reach my hand out to her. Everything slows and suddenly the rain & thunder are muffled by the sound of my heart. It beats fast inside my chest as hope rises inside.

I see the hesitation in her soft blue eyes as she stares at my open hand. When they finally lift to my own, I try to convey reassurance. I try, wordlessly, to let her know I’ve already jumped, I’ll be at the bottom to catch her. I want the spark of beauty that she is to be the spark within me. My breath seems to catch in my throat.

My hand starts to feel heavy. My heart starts to pound hard as anticipation builds. The longer she waits the more my head starts spinning. What was I thinking? I feel my stomach sinking as my smile starts to falter. I watch her hand lift slowly toward mine and feel my soul being lifted. 

Just as quickly as it was lifted, my soul drops hard against the floor I’m standing on. As she withdraws her hand I see a mist covering her eyes. My heart stops in my chest and the breath that was caught in my throat is released in one slow breath as I pull my hand back. I put everything on the line for her. I jumped off the cliff for her. Anger burns in my stomach. My jaw tightens and I turn without saying a word. I think I hear her say something as I open the coffee shop door, but then I’m outside and the rain and thunder resume it’s booming sound.