B is for best friend

by ERS   Dec 23, 2020


I was some place I wanted to be, an I had to leave
I was some place I wanted to be, an I laughed it off

"Gotta go be a barber for a couple of hours"
He looked at me an said
"Ah yes, Responsibility "
I liked the way he said it
Responsibility
Like it were a prison

He sent me three tiny, digital flowers
Attached was some of the most important paperwork I'd ever done
He edited it for me
I was at home crying
Mad at myself for not being able to do it on my own
I thanked him a half dozen times

He sent me flowers

He asked me that night if I wanted tea
We were lying on the living room floor
I didn't answer
Instead....
I had a panic attack.

He didn't ask if I was okay
I buried my face in the carpet
I searched for air when I already had too much
I don't know how long I lied there

He put half of his weight on me
Overlapped my person with his
He didn't say anything
Just lied there
His fingers reached for mine
He squeezed my hand gently
I couldn't force the words out
I was losing the battle
I wrote on his skin with my fingertips
"I'm sorry"

Nothing
I started again
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I'm sorry"
Nothing
Again an again I traced apologies into his palm

We stayed like that
Until the storm I was in, let the sea turn back into beach
Until the waves no longer tumbled over me
Until I felt ground beneath my body
Until I felt fingers curled within mine
The air in my lungs finally registered.

I was still shaking
But my breath tamed the ocean
Pixels rearranged themselves to form sounds and feelings
The world vibrated back into focus
I didn't know what to say
I stopped tracing "Sorry"
I traced "Tea"

He chuckled and got up
I took a moment to follow him into the kitchen
I hugged him
I said "Sorry"
He said,
"I find that instead of saying sorry, thank you works better"
I said "Thank you"
He held me
I said "Thank you"
We drank tea
I said "Thank you"
He held me some more

He held me until thank you,
No longer meant I'm sorry.

-ERS

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Latest Comments

  • 1 month ago

    by Poet on the Piano

    I have so many emotions reading this piece!

    Sharing this kind of moment, and having someone be able to steady you and be what you need, is beautiful. Panic attacks can be some of the most debilitating things, and sometimes you just need someone to wait it out with you. Your imagery in this, your voice, and becoming grounded held such honesty and genuine emotion. This felt so intimate yet at the same time, relatable and understandable, the times when we feel we should have enough strength to do this or that, but the reality is we can't do it alone. I truly felt the continuous "I'm sorry"s as well, because that is something I have to train myself to no longer say. To not apologize for just being, or for going through something that I couldn't help.

    The layout here, and wisdom of replacing "I'm sorry" with "thank you", and just the support in this is incredibly heart-warming.

    Thank you for sharing this with us!