Fiction/Prose

Winter

Your lips are cracked, your eyes are tired. You move like the last leaves falling reluctantly from a tree that once was garish with life. I have watched your cheeks hollow, seen the flush behind them dwindle and fade. And I can hear you shrinking, further and further inside the jumper that is unraveling at the hem. Those long threads trail after you morosely wherever you go, your fingers too busy, curled up safely inside your sleeves, to do anything about them. I watch your head tilt when you’re spoken to, but I know your gaze wanders to dwell on the swirling fog that’s just a little bit too far away to swallow you up. I know you get home and sit on the bed and stare blankly at the wall. I know it takes you hours to find the strength to lean down and untie your shoelaces. I remember once you pulled me down onto that bed and kicked off your summer shoes, all smiles and laughter and eyes bright with spring. And I know you remember, too. I know that sometimes you forget not to notice the weak sunlight trickling through the gap in the curtains, and you remember everything, and you think that you are hopeless. You think that we are all hopeless.

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