Can you hear me?
I search your face, looking for a hint of understanding.
There is no sympathy for me. Hurt clouds your vision, blocking your mind from mine, and you can’t hear me.
I bow my head. The silence grows. It is creeping under my skin, eating at my flesh from the inside.
I square my shoulders and look past you. I cannot bear to be here, in this room, choking on the stifling silence slowly filling my throat.
My throat constricts and forces out the sound cowards are made of.
I stare at you defiantly, willing you to see past the cruelty I know you’ll find in my eyes.
I wonder if you can.
I spent years building that special wall you’ll find in the windows to my soul.
The wall gave me the power to beat my oppressors. It shot down threats and kept me safe.
And then you came along. You, with your own walls of steel, were not intimidated by my menacing looks and brazen comments. You saw past that, into my soul where my sweet self lies hidden under layer upon layer of itchy blankets of shame.
You gave me your hand and told me we’d be in this together.
I peeled off so much for you. I stood bare before you, showing you everything.
And then, he was taken from me. I turned to you for help. I couldn’t speak, my voice was stilled, but I looked at you and trusted that you would see what was in my eyes.
But you didn’t hear my silent prayer.
And now, here we are, in this cold, cruel place, and I am so afraid that you can’t hear me anymore.