Artificial Affection for the Aquatic

At first, I watched.

Content to be a silent witness.

She smiled in the presence

Of a boy who claimed love.

The beast who stole her heart,

Took her love and her joy

And stomped them all away.

My heart twisted as I observed.

My chest pounded angrily

To watch her tears

As he played his games.

Played those mind games.

Crystal life stained her cheeks,

Leaving their mark for all eternity

Under the surface of her spirit.

"Lord, help me," I often prayed.

"Help me not to kill him.

Surely, something will redeem him

If she is still with him," all the while

I was sharpening my silver.

Speaking his lies,

Fabricating his affection,

Killing you slowly,

The rusted knife of his words

Twisting,

Scraping,

Slicing away at that free spirit,.

With no concern for your mentality,

He struck through your chest.

Why couldn't you see what I saw in him?

Why does love blind in such a way?

How can you love one who never loves?

Has never loved,

Will never love,

Knows not the meaning of love.

Have I betrayed you?

Did I do the same to you?

I was foolish, I realize that.

I repeatedly declined his offer,

On more than one occasion.

Times you never heard about.

Times I never told you about,

Thinking he would change for you.

Hoping he would be there for you.

Praying he would stay with you.

Yet he still begged.

And then came the fall.

You felt abandoned.

Lonely. Alone. All alone.

Scarred, abused,

Fighting for a purpose

Not to let the razor fly.

Not to let the ruby life spill.

Don't stain your sheets over him.

Did thoughts of your friends keep you from it?

Did I ever cross your mind?

But how could I, of all people.

After what he did, to both of us.

What he pulled me into.

Too late, I realized,

When I heard you on the phone.

Sobbing, miles away.

Yet in that moment, I was right next to you.

I never said it, but I'll say it now.

I'm sorry.

Once pitted against each other,

By his manipulations,

We somehow came out together.

You limping, clutching a bleeding chest,

I staggering with confusion in the remains

Of artificial affection.

Both leaning on each other for support.

We stood there for hours,

Gazing out over the horizon,

Our eyes fell over the ruins

of the simulated adoration,

And the wreckage of an almost broken friendship

Miraculously in tact, mended.

Knee-high in the debris of that false love.

A love he never felt for you,

A love he imagined he had for me.

How could I have been so stupid?

So naïve? So childish.

Why hadn't I warned you,

When he first made that attempt?

When he first told me?

Could I have prevented this?

Might my actions have eluded

this brief era's conclusion?

Maybe.

Maybe not.

Maybe it's better we went through what we did.

I believe we are stronger.

I hope we are stronger.

And next time,

Maybe I'll have the courage

To tell you when they cheat.

And maybe you'll have the experience

To see it in their eyes.

Or maybe you always knew. Did you?

Maybe you were just in denial.

You deserve better, you know.

Don't let them treat you like that.

Because, although you came out stronger,

I don't think you'll survive the next round.

My poor aquatic friend.

Sleep well, tonight.

He'll never hurt you again.