A Veiled Christmas Tree

Photo by Norexy art on Pexels.com
The veil was torn, and like a rug pulled from under me, I fell to the ground. Laid out like a corpse for all to see for the first time, I was exposed. You didn’t ask to see me like this, and I didn’t want to show you. I never hid who I was or what I go through, but plucky charisma goes a long way to assuage the burning hell I walk through on a daily basis.

Incapacitated, emaciated, gaunt, breath shallow until I smell life and my lungs hold on to that oxygen desperately like a toxic relationship pushing and pulling my chest. My heart working double time to compensate. I wake disoriented to see you in the doorway smiling at me as I come to. Your eyes heartbroken for the both of us. At first, I thought you were a mirage.
Something I dreamed of often so when you spoke, and I heard the kind timber of your voice,
I was taken back.

“Feliz Navidad” you said. A Merry Christmas it was indeed. Maybe this year this was our gift to each other. Pain and tenderness like a Christmas tree’s twinkling glow in the darkness such beauty and life from a plant that was violently severed from its roots oozing sap. Death always smells so sweet when it’s dressed up.

I am not dying, but a part of me did that day. The part that checks all lists twice and tries to make everything perfect. No one, especially me, could have predicted this would happen. I could not plan for it. I could not prepare you. My plans go to shit anyway, but at least we would have had a plan. Destiny interceded for us.

Like vapor clearing from my eyes you vanished. A plane to catch, a continent between us, you might as well have been a mirage. I could explain away an illusion of my fragmented mind but not a man who leaves. I know I was in good hands my friends rushed in, tapping into what all mothers know and only the ones they love benefit from, the nurturing touch of the scared yet courageous. Makeshift nurses, battle tested, and battle ready. They swarmed me in a frenzy, and you made your exit. All I wanted to know for months was if you would cross that fence you’ve been hugging like the door jam you left. I guess I got my answer.

I couldn’t help but think that this was our chance. Your chance to show me what I am to
you. In the frenzy, your voice rang out “feel better” before everything went black, and all I heard was the hollow sound of your footsteps walking away. I should hate you for leaving, but I don’t. You did as much as you could. Loved me as much as your heart allowed. Your veil was pierced today too. You could no longer hide behind the Casanova bravado you bolster. You were exposed under the twinkling light of a Christmas tree.

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