I could have saved you.
It's true; I could have. For years I've been telling myself this fact, and
this fact alone. For facts are things logically proven under all evidences
to be true. Most people wouldn't say it so bluntly, but everyone knows
I was young then. I stood in my favorite, most comfortable sweatshirt-the
gray one with white letters. Denim bell-bottoms, black sneakers, hair in a
bun, and I was calm.
I felt you leave. Even when I closed my eyes I saw you go. In a
torrent of amber rubble and suit-colored wind, you were surrounded.
You huddled, small. Your faceless head was frozen to your knees,
which were so thin and such a light color that the light made your orange
You had no voice with which to cry, and I could not see you do much
more than shake. Shaking from fear or from the wind? Surely the wind; you
were too small to feel.
You were emotionless, and therefore I was emotionless. Too afraid
that you might turn your faceless little head, defrost it from your limbs,
I dared not let myself feel a thing to show you.
It seemed like you were old, wise. But perhaps you weren't. You were
the opposite of age, too small even to be compared to anything with mass.
Too small, still, to belong to me.
I know that I made you, that I was your little home, a human
sanctuary, a teenage refuge for which you could huddle until you were ready
to uncurl and blink. I'm not sure when it would have happened, but by
nature you would have grown to love me.
When I thought of this, I almost shattered my emotionless-ness to
break the storm of amber and ash. I don't know if it would have mattered if
I turned back, if I opened my mouth and cried, "stop!" If I reached out
with both hands, I don't even know that I could have any longer had the
option to just touch you.
And so I let you go, watching blankly as you were destroyed like a
statue of a child.
I don't expect you to understand. Sometimes I'm not even sure that I
All my life, I've been a taker, grabbing what I wanted and ignoring
what I didn't. But I could not ignore the storm that tunneled you up from
the ground until you blew away like a dry leaf. And now, I can't ignore my
thoughts, no matter how much I despise and don't want them.
I am sure that I could have loved you, even wanted you. But neither
of us will ever know now for sure. Silence surpasses us like white clouds
that have no shape.
I could have saved you, but I didn't even try.