He's beautiful, yet he can't see it.
He's strong and wise, yet he doesn't believe it.
He's worth time, energy, and love, yet he doesn't want it.
He has his mind made up. There's something he's going to do. Nothing anyone can say or do can change that. I still try. I try to come up with inspirational words, reasons, excuses. I beg, I plead.
Alone I cry, my heart aching for a forsaken soul. My heart breaking for the young man that doesn't believe his life is worth living; for a gentle man with so much to offer so many, that doesn't want to live this life.
An end seems inevitable, and I'm not strong enough to stop it. I ask him to seek help from someone, something stronger than me. He doesn't believe it will help. He doesn't rant and rave; he quietly accepts this as his happiness. It is what he wants.
He apologizes to me for God bringing me into his life when He did. I thank God.
His mother thanks me, and God, for coming around when I did.
Like I'm supposed to make a difference. Like knowing him fulfills my divine mission in this lifetime. I hope in some small way I have helped, I hope in some small way I've shed some light in his dark world.
I spend time with him, and look into his deep brown eyes. Sometimes lit with laughter, other times shuttered and shaded and filled with pain. I've seen the glint of tears more than once. And all I want to do is hold him, cradle him against me and draw his pain into myself; and infuse my strength and hope into him.
But I can't.
He says that no one was there to catch him when he fell. He's right.
Yet my being there to help him back up means nothing. It's too late, or so he says.
I don't believe it. I can't believe it, or I might as well start digging his grave.
I sit on the edge of his bed, and he comes to me, wrapping his arms around my legs, resting his head in my lap, and I stroke his hair. One of his hands will reach out, and I'll take it in my own, our fingers intertwine. His thumb brushes back and forth over my palm, and my fingers stroke across his neck.
He'll sit up and go back to his desk, only to return minutes later. I lay on my side, my head propped on my hand, and I look down at him. He comes closer, and I stretch my arm out towards him, welcoming him. He pushes his hand between my legs, and I grasp onto it. He rests his chin on my knee, and our eyes lock.
Not a word is spoken, but we understand what's not being said.
He'll lay his head down, and his free hand strokes across my knee. His fingers tighten on mine for a moment, and he lets go. Sitting back up, he moves away again, but as he goes, I see the sheen of tears in his eyes.
There's so much pain within him, and I can't take it away. I can't fix it.
It's almost time for me to leave.. It's getting late. I know I have to.
But some days when I leave, it feels as if I'm abandoning him. Leaving him as the rest of the world has done.
I sit up, slowly putting on my shoes, blinking back tears of my own. I feel him looking at me, and he tells me not to cry. I reply that I'm not going to.
He knows I'm lying.
I blink them down far enough that it's safe to look at him.
He leans towards me, waiting for me to go. I don't want to. I'm stalling.
He reaches out and catches my chin between his thumb and forefinger, then releases it, telling me that everything will be fine.
I sigh, glancing away, knowing that his version of fine is vastly different from my own.
My eyes drift back over to him, and I lean forward, resting my head on his shoulder.
He tips his head down, rubbing his chin on the top of my head. He lifts one hand, his fingers entangling in the hair at the nape of my neck as his thumb brushes across my jaw. His hand moves, and he brushes my hair back from my cheek, before turning it, stroking my cheek with his knuckles.
My eyes flutter shut and I swallow against the lump forming in my throat.
I turn my head and nuzzle my face against his neck, and his hand moves again, grasping the back of my neck, his fingers lightly stroking.
I feel him ready to draw back, and I know the moment has ended. I start to lift my head away, but see his hand from the corner of my eye, catching a lock of my hair, rubbing it back and forth between his fingers. He moves his hand once again, cupping my face, tilting it up to his own.
He tells me I have to go.
I stand, my voice husky and ragged as I say goodbye.
I turn away from him quickly, barely making it three steps before the tears slip from my eyes. I reach blindly for the door, and exit into the cool night air with a mixture of relief and fear.
My feet hesitate as I step into the soft grass, and I turn and look at his home. Part of me wants to barge back in and say that I'm not going anywhere.
Another part of me wants to flee.
Run from the feelings, the emotions, the torment, the pain, the love.
But he wants me gone. One day, when I leave, he'll do what he wants to do.
And I'll feel like I've abandoned him.
So I get in my car and pull away, tears falling freely down my cheeks.
I cry my way home, and crawl into bed, thinking of all the things that I want to say, to do, that won't make a difference to him.