It's in the wrong jar.
My eyes grow big.
You watch the realization unfold on my face.
My stomach drops with the certainty; It has lots of practice living with emptiness.
Calculations begin- how long can I manage? Fruit here, cup of water there.
"I can never know for sure."
It takes less than a second to realize that everything is broken.
It takes less than a second; sounds of the dog smacking cheese off of the used dishes vibrates the room.
The smell of contaminants that coat each dish is nauseating.
It smells like the rotting remains of promises made.
Not burying- disappearing.
But you pull me back.
I want to sink into the defeat.
Can I lean into the isolation instead of the distress?
There's something white hot and destructive brimming right on the edge of my eyelids.
The collective snapshots of terror have been building, right there in my stomach.
The shame is prickles on my skin, it jumps into my throat, threatening an unraveling.
The next thing I hear is the voice from the TV- the most illustrative description of my worst fears.
Without hesitation, I know.
When I finally break, my screams echo shattering glass, pouring right out of my mouth.
My tears are scorching, leaving ruins in their path.
With my head tucked between my knees, forehead shoved down into the bedding, I am so tiny and so immersed in my silent surrender, that I almost forget.
I almost forget about my cheek pressed hard against the warm skin on your chest and your fingertips brushing the stray hairs away from my jawline, tracing until you pause behind my ear;
Or about your voice, "One second with you is worth an entire year of heartbreak".
Somewhere inside of this explosion, I hear what you say about wanting to reassure me- you can't tolerate my suffering.
When I pick my head up again, it's those brown eyes, poised and eyebrows raised with confidence.
I remember my options. I either come back or I don't.
I either return to you or I surrender.
As the sun floods the Earth each morning, I will make this choice again and again.