words and time and...

it wasn't the symmetry of the number that appealed to her, or the aesthetics of the even.

six years.

that was the time she associated with being unwell. six years. a time when life was somehow not her own. when she was less than. six years. that was all. and yet it felt like it was all there ever was and all there had ever been and all there would ever be: a lifetime. the whole of her lifetime.

seven years.

the amount of time she had known him and... well...

he knows. he must know. surely, he must know.

she expected it to pass. the feeling. she expected it to pass. everyone told her it would. and she had been so young when they first met and there was so much life to unfold and so surely this, this...thing would pass.

but it lived there. in the deepest part, in the braided ligaments of her core, and so she came to accept that it might never. it would shift and change, but remain.

that moment moment there, on the couch, him commenting on the black tights, it was a marker of time, for her. that he didn't know. he couldn't possibly have known that that, more than the lines now ringing his eyes or the new gray hairs (both things she found endlessly appealing), more than her fuller hips and forehead creases, that comment, was a marker of time.

because he wasn't there for those six years. and thank god for that. she wasn't either.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

god, words fail. they just aren't enough.

if i could find them, if i could find the right ones, i'd ask you to place you hand there again, between curve of knee and hem and let it live there for as long as we both could bear. i'd tell you that of course i see you. and the image is so clear, despite present circumstances or recent history. i don't know the whole of the story but i see you and i...well, you must know, surely you must.

i'm a girl that's only ever seen the pieces. the bits and the pieces. but with you it came all at once in a startling clarity. and so i'm mostly unafraid. i, who fear all, is mostly unafraid where you are concerned. unafraid of all that's come before or of all the time and land and life yet to traverse.

and i don't know what's to come. or of how much we'll traverse alone. or if we'll take any of it together.

but perhaps it doesn't have to be so hard.

there are those words. and they are so comforting. so full of... but i don't know if they are yours. and the strange, strangling doubt takes hold.

because you know that these are mine. i give them freely. well, mostly. but, without a doubt, you know they are mine. the question must then be, are they for you?

yes, yes, of course, yes. you must know that.

and so i want nothing so much as to ask, who? who wrote them? because there is the suspicion and the hope and the endless, endless doubt.

but somehow that questions seems unfair. or too soon. or simply past the point.

and i am at a loss...