You kept me close, so close, that no one knew who I was.
I didn’t think it strange at first. In fact, I liked it, I liked that we had this quiet relationship: it was you and me against the world. We had “our” weekends holed up in your apartment or in the park or in a dive bar where the bartender poured us our shots before we even finished doffing our coats. We had “our” little bistro tucked away in a part of the neighborhood that our friends didn’t even know about let alone would go to if they did.
“Our” shared language, tics and tacs, noughts and crosses, a step-step to the flow of words and jokes between us that when observed by an unknowing other spoke of the intimacy and familiarity of lovers, of sisters, of soulmates, or some heady, possibly disturbing, combination of the three.
That was all fine; I was okay with it until one day I wasn’t and it wasn’t fine. It hit me, bricks shattering from parapets on concrete sidewalk, crystalline glass on porcelain tile, that I was your secret, your dirty secret, and you were using me as your security blanket, your comfort, your protection, hoarding my time, my love, my affection and attention, until the time when you didn’t need it anymore.
And you would discard me. (You did). And I would be left yearning. (I was). And there would be no one for me to tell who would believe. (There isn’t). And I would have to close this gaping wound in my chest, I would have to suture and glue and hold shut the trench you tore through my soul when you left. (I am, slowly, and you never looked back at the scene of the crime).
Secrets, they hurt when you’re not careful and you become one, but they hurt most of all when you find that you were the one keeping the secret.