Hush, now. Time to turn out the lights. Silence, now. I'm here, dancing with strangers.

You picked me up and carried me from the darkness, away from my hiding place. And I can't find it anymore, no matter how desperately I want it.

Vulnerability is in the open; walls have been torn down. You can see me the way I've never wanted you to. You know me as I've never wanted anybody to.

I never meant to make you drag me, kicking and screaming, away from my selfishness. Away from my selfish desires. I want them, but I want to get rid of them.

I don't understand why I am standing here, staring at myself and not really seeing me at all. I don't understand why I've put on a mask to hide the result of a past so wretched, so traumatizing. I don't understand why I'm still even remembering.

I've promised myself to stop destroying myself. I can no longer draw blood and call it comfort. I can no longer become indulgent and call it good-intentioned. And yet I sit here with seemingly harmless hands clenched into fists. Flesh torn away from fingers, marks from my nails on my palms.

And then I look at you. You, so beautiful. So seemingly flawless. I look at you and wonder how you can love me. Me, the one so incredibly blemished, imperfect. So unsure of so many things, so fearful. I can't fathom why you've always been so gentle when everybody else has caused pain. Why you can stand to be near me and not walk away when everybody else has abandoned me. How you can look at me and see beauty when everyone else has left me scarred and ugly. But still you love me and you chose me, and there is nothing I can do to express my gratitude.

I've never been capable of anything except running away. Until you. Now I am able to love you beyond tangibility. I will no longer allow myself to hide from you, because you will no longer allow me to hide from myself. Because you know me.

Hush, now. You light up my dark. Silence, now. I'm here, dancing with the only one I'll ever love.