I feel like I am going deaf.
My heart is beating so loud that everything sounds muffled. I am dizzy with the effort it takes to breathe, my lightheadedness making every second feel like a dotted whole note, lasting longer than usual. I am trying hard to concentrate on the voice in my ear. I burrow myself deeper in my covers, and sniffle without my permission.
Like most emotional trauma, it was fast enough, swift enough, that I didn’t see it coming. Unintentional as it was, I wasn’t mortally wounded. I would survive this. But still, I was bleeding.
“Why are you upset?”
And the thing about it is, there are so many answers to this question.
Because I am prideful.
Because I am sensitive.
Because I didn’t realize it would hurt this much.
And to a certain degree all these things are varying shades of the truth. But none of them are quite as powerful as the root of it all. The anchor that keeps me here, on this phone, in this moment, drowning in my feelings rather than holding on to a buoy of humor as I do in most emotionally perilous situations. It’s what keeps me bound, tethered to this what if despite how illogical and unnatural and unlike me it all is.
It’s the one thing I won’t say.
So I skate, clear across the hard ice frozen over the truth trapped below to what is easier to say, that spills from my lips, certainly not without difficulty and anguish, but not nearly as hard as what I’m hiding. I blurt it out like emotional Tourette’s, and then sit there in the silence with it, so painfully uncomfortable that I have to resist the urge to break into a run, even though we aren’t even in the same room.
If I could, I’d snatch it out of the air where it’s floating between us, shove it back in my mouth and down my throat, swallowing it whole, and hoping I could keep it down this time.
And maybe in time could forget it.
I can’t, of course.
I haven’t, yet.
But Lord knows I’ve tried.
So I stay rooted. Crushed under the weight of this emotional moment I didn’t see to avoid and can’t back out of and I fancy it some sort of penance for all the other feelings I have kept at arm’s length, shaken off and spun around, leaving behind me as I run full speed towards another goal.
I replay it all. All the sweet and the smiles, all the blushes and the secrets whispered over miles and emotional barriers. All the conversations languishing until the time was single digits, being greeted by the sun before sleep.
I’m breathless with the fear that I have ruined it. All of this. It will never be the same. Because I kno I won’t know how to pretend that it didn’t happen.