I remember when I was a child more vividly than most. Perhaps it is because I never really left that boy. I never turned from him, but in many ways I remained lost. I am perhaps the only true “lost boy,” trapped in a neverland of my own creation.
I am a lost soul, in a world that moved on. I sit in a corner, my arms wrapped around my legs. It is dark where the boy lives and the voices are always there. Some days there are hands clawing at his knees, some days there are only voices whispering bad things in his small ears…he is always frightened. Even now in the guise of an old man, he is scared.
What frightens him is how he makes himself breathe. How every day he forces air in his lungs and begins the day. How his life has always been that first breath and each breath after was for those in his life, never for himself. Imagine it…
To keep breathing so as to not let them down. To live, so no one has to hurt at the loss of him. In essence living not for himself, but for everyone else. Given the choice, the boy would stop forcing the breath and let the wind flow from his lungs and sleep without worry. An impossible dream for the boy who became a man and still lives for those who need him…never for the one that needs him most.
It is always the same. A bit of banter, a few giggles and promises made in the name of friendship or the dreaded L-word. The definitive, “you’ll see” and the waiting for something that would be nothing. It was a pattern, like some child calling wolf, over and over again. I always waited, always thought that this time would be the time she would come through. I never won, never read those words of need or want. Once again the story reset and instead of moving ahead in the narrative, it stagnated and repeated.
I can only blame coincidence, because there was always a reason why it could not be shared. Whether illness or time, the reasons themselves became repetitive. I was blunt with my own need to know, but in the end it was always taken for granted. I am weak you see and I reach out and be the person I always am. She never sees that inside I am broken. she never sees that she could fix that part left in tatters.
And I just smile and let it go. Does she get that my smile has become my own wolf. If she could see that behind it lay a truth that she will never understand. Or worse, she does, but can not move to change. This is what she does, this is why she always makes me less. Just once I want a wolf at my door, and finally a promise fulfilled.
But there are no wolves in this story, only imagined and forgotten.