Come here, little one, I’m going to tell you the ghastliest, most formidable bedtime story of all times:

For hundreds and thousands of years, there was this grotesque shadow who had walked the grounds of the juvenile earth. It was so monstrous and vile that the whole of humankind despised its existence. This creature was just another lonesome soul that seeks company—it just wants to play—little did it know that its presence alone is sickening and toxic to those who come at close proximity.

And so, being the monster that it is, it swore to have vengeance in its hands. It hunted the corners of the earth to find its sweetest preys. And little one, you wouldn’t want to see how it devours its preys alive, whole and then piece by piece. It licks the flesh to the bone and sucks the crimsom blood dry. It paralyzes your whole being and slowly picks at your parts – your eyes, your ears, your lips, your hands, your fingers, your legs, your feet, anything – anything that it can use to destroy with the most pain. It is so much real, I would know. It is so concrete and powerful and suppressing. It pins you to bed at 3 o’clock in the morning and forces the tears out of your eyes. It squeezes the air out of your lungs and you cannot breath. It grabs you by the neck and crushes your throat, and no one will ever hear your helpless whimpers. Sometimes it comes when you least expect it, when you’re midway through a conversation with your friends, it will treachereously seep through your veins and kill your laughter. Sometimes when you’re brushing your hair in front of the mirror, it will suddenly materialize behind you and you want to scream but no voice will come out. It wanders at the back your mind and slowly pull the strings and cuts them loose. It silently eats away your sanity. Its existence alone is crippling and one touch from its darkness will bring about your wretchedness. The madness is unbearable. The pain is too much sometimes you will physically feel the burning in your chest. It will suppress your other emotions until you are blanketed with nothing but loneliness and it will laugh triumphantly at the mess it made – you. And you have to know that it isn’t a pretty sight. Sunken eyes, unbuttoned shirt, unbrushed hair, smelly clothes. Cigarette ashes. More cigarette ashes. It was way, way worse than the monster hiding under your bed at night. Trust me, nothing has ever terrified the entire humankind like it does.

It will kill you, but it won’t let you die.

If you’re one of the unlucky souls, it will come to get you. You won’t be prepared for what’s to come and believe me, no one has ever been. Not even the strongest of the strong has ever fended off this rogue in all of history. You cannot run nor hide. There’s no escaping this loathsome beast. Listen to me, little one, and listen to me well. Do not believe those who will tell you it will be okay. No one’s coming to help. When the damn time comes, no one’s going to pick up the pieces but you with your own damn hands.

I.
We start with slowly drifting away,
our graceless departure unfolding little by little.
We walk alongside each other with hands intertwined,
but our hearts do not feel.
You face that way and I turn the other, and
our eyes, they rarely ever meet.

II.
We grow more sick everyday,
You write me letters less and less,
and I respond with the seed of apathy we so
carelessly planted long ago.
Our garden hasn’t been tended lately and the weeds now
suffocate the withering flowers.
Soon we’ll be reaping what we sow.

III.
We welcome the weariness with open arms
and we embrace it tighter than we do with each other.
You wake up one day realizing you wouldn’t
walk along the shore when I was the sea,
And I open my eyes to morning light but
you do not like the sunshine.

IV.
We cross the lines and scribble wicked inklings
on each other’s skin in the most wretched of ways.
You leave your ashtray on my bedside and I shatter
the glass in your wake;
We give up the things we need for the things we wanted.
Then we sleep at night with broken hearts and
dried-up tears on our pillows.

V.
We end with you gathering your clothes and walking out the door, leaving your letter jacket on my closet and
never once glancing back to ask for it—
And I shut it hard behind you without second thought.
This is how we lose each other.
This is how we lose.

Love is sick and massive and suppressing,
and I am a little fragile here and there.
But then again, aren’t we all?