I watched him ‘die’. I stood there, feet rooted to the ground, and saw his soul leaving him as the days went by. I saw him crumpling up inside himself, caving into the little spaces, closing up, stuck in reverse, so tired he couldn’t sleep. The monsters feeding on him bit by bit, swallowing him from inside out. I saw the prescription pills he took religiously on the daily, like a ritual or habit of some sort. He popped those as if they had no effect, but little did he know the dependence was only growing by the minute.

What hurt most wasn’t that he was suffering, but rather that I couldn’t do anything to help. Being the sensitive person I am, I could feel all of it — the negativity and isolation in his shadows and behind closed doors. I felt all the guilt, for all the times he had to pull through on his own. It wasn’t something I could escape from. I wanted so badly to defeat whatever was inside that was killing him, draining him out, but all I felt was defenceless. I always thought it was my responsibility, an obligation I never resented, to be the one to pull him out of what was drowning him, because I understood how it felt and I was the only one who could tell.

When he spoke to you, you could tell he just wasn’t there. His soul, his words, his sanity, it seemed as though they were all mercilessly robbed from him. It wasn’t hard to see how it took a huge toll on him with the fatigue written all over his face. You could see him try, trying to actually listen in conversations, trying so hard to keep it all out — the memories of a life that’s been lost; but the facade was a pathetic one. He was in his own world.



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