“I killed people Sarah.”
“I know honey.”
Deep breath, and in my softest, calmest, most authoritative voice.
For the briefest of seconds he believed me.
It was a good second.
We are going for full minutes now.
He wants me to be right, and I am.
He needs to be absolved, and I will.
He pulls away when I try to touch him. At first I thought hand shy, hit too many times. He is that too.
This is something worse.
I am afraid he sees me as clean and doesn’t want to get me dirty. He thinks his soul is filthy.
Sometimes I say ‘it’s alright’ to horrors I can’t imagine and I want to bite my tongue so hard it bleeds. It’s not alright. Those other things he tells me are not alright. No one should have to live through that.
With all the words out there one would think the writer could find something better to say, but that is all I have, the only weapons in my arsenal “it’s alright”, “it’s okay” and “I love you”.
This is how you kill demons, you love them, hug them so hard they can’t breathe.
Rage feeds them, so I won’t, even when I want to.
It is my job not to flinch and just listen.
It’s not hard.
He says these things and I have to fight not to touch him, as if putting my hands on him might draw out some of the hurt like a preacher in a circus tent.
But he flinches.
And my heart breaks harder and louder.
So I stand.
Close enough that he doesn’t have to talk too loud. I have to hear every word and I won’t have them repeated unless he needs to say it twice. I know he hasn’t told anyone before me and saying those things out loud sometimes breathe new life into old memories and we can’t have that. They come out and I kill them with kindness.
The words coming, flowing freely is how the poison gets out.
I can stand closer now. He lets me. We went from 3 foot safe distance to shoulder to shoulder.
Sometimes he sits and I stand on his right looking over my shoulder watching his 6 while he pauses, breathes. My hip pressed up against his leg.
Exactly where I should be.
I am honored to stand beside someone like him. I know he feels calm around me, he told me. He never feels calm. He doesn’t know what sleep is.
He has nightmares and terrors, says he isn’t easy to be around.
Funny, I find it harder and harder to be away from him.
I say these things and he says “don’t lie to me.”
It’s a knee jerk reaction from getting bludgeoned one too many times.
It will pass.
He is beginning to believe me. I won’t waiver. He has enough doubt and it is my job to starve it out.
I’m still terrified of saying the wrong thing and losing ground.
I tell him I love him, because I do.
I said once that ‘when the wars wage in heaven it’s my job to tend to the wounded.’
“But there are wars down here Sarah. Do your job.”
My job, just like his, is to run into the fray with bullets and bandages. Sword and shield. This is what I am learning from him.
I ask my girls, the others that do what I do.
First thing that needs to be done is to wash the blood and grime and see how deep the cuts are. I already know the answer, down to the bone and into the marrow.
Nothing that can’t be mended.
There are those who see wounds like his and decide he’s already dead.
No one should live through that, but he did.
No one else could have.
They don’t understand. I do. He is not the things he has done, he is who he is now, here with me. That is all I see.
By all rights I shouldn’t be here either.
I would never compare pain, but there are many times I hung onto the mortal coil by my fingernails.
I have no life line on either palm, but last night he put his fingers to my throat and found a pulse.
First time he touched me of his own accord.
I leaned into it. And my heart did beat under his fingers. Everything changes when it is observed.
“Empathic people are born with a gift and a curse.
Tormented by our pain and paralyzed by yours.
We are stabbed twice.”
Maybe before I remembered my wings, not now.
“When you begin to let that empathy guide you into being an agent of love in those situations (no matter how small the role of helper may be)….it stops hurting. Alchemy happens. The wound is the purpose.” Danielle Davis (yes, this)
I see his scars as a roadmap to a place I am supposed to be. The history of how he came to me.
I’m not afraid of them or him, nor am I afraid of me when I am around him or anything at all really.
I used to be afraid. I once broke windows and people.
This strange thing happens when I am near him, I feel stronger, bigger, more like myself. My other half awaking.
He says I am dangerous, with reverence.
Aye, I am.
“not all of us can control our powers.”
this is war.”
I am exactly terrifying enough.
His turn to sleep.
I’m awake now because of him.
In my protectiveness of him lies power beyond what I am used to, more than I knew I was capable of.
The bible speaks of the Nephilim, half angel/half human, the heroes in old stories. So tall they burned their necks on the sun.
I told him when I look at him I see a giant.
I am not wrong.