It didn't matter how many times the fighting occured. It didn't matter over what, or with whom, or when. In fact, it seemed that whenever the shouting did start, everything else in the world faded away. It was just--you. The two or three or sometimes only just one of you screaming. Filling your lungs with the world's frustration just to blast it back out with twice the fury.
"You lying, schemeing bitch!" you'd shout, and I would wonder what was meant for me.
"You don't know what it's like!" you'd scream, and I would wonder if your devils heard you.
But I knew. I watched and I knew and I felt, firsthand all that it was like. You just didn't see. I could never get myself to let you.
When your words hit like gravel against my skin and left pockmarks across my heart, I didn't shed a tear. I pretended that it didn't hurt watching the shadows of your demons dance behind the lids of your eyes. Watching the tower fall. Witnessing the death of an angel to a devil called insanity.
You fell into yourself and I, I fell in with you and claimed that it was to keep you company. But we all knew that you dragged me down there. We all knew, but we couldn't say.
Because no house in which God lived could let a girl fall so far. No house in which God lived could forsake quite so many.
No, we all wanted to believe we were doing the right thing. Patching our addictions with duct tape and adhesive so overused that the stick had worn clear off, leaving us to lick it and cleave the damp onto the open wounds. And we said that we chose to be there. We chose to ache together. To ache as family. A sick, broken, struggling family.
"We did the best we could," father would say, his voice full of sorry overtones to cover the anxiety from his uncertainty.
Blaming the demons-the favorite thing to do. Abstract devils keep responsibility at bay.
But not for me. It is too late for me. I have already felt the heat of your hands meld with the anger rising in my cheeks. I have counted how many times the battles raged, and what was said, and who said what and when. I remember every acid word to cross your lips and touch my heart and fuck my head.
I never told the whole story. I never gave the whole truth. But this time, I am letting it out. Just this once, I have to do it for me...if just to never become you.