I see you upon arrival, wallet and keys in hand with a cheery hello to all your friends. I see how you carry yourself with height and with grace, carefully manoeuvring the minefield of the day.
I see the way your smile slips through out the day. It gently leaves your face, falling victim to gravity of the social kind.
You force your eyes to look up from the floor, gracing everyone with their tenderness, something that can’t be taught. I see you trying desperately to lift your spirits higher, to climb as far away as possible from the torrential rain falling below.
I see you as you pinch the bridge of your nose, trying to forget the fact that the sorest battle scar you bear is the one etched in your mind. I see the wrinkles on your forehead as you gently push at the clouds floating above your head; clouds heavy with more torrential rain.
But you keep walking and talking and smiling and laughing, all the while re-igniting that little flame behind your eyes. It’s so close to being snuffed out, but you stay valiant.
I see the way your face hardens once the laughing dies away, once your drink has emptied or the music has stopped. The demon kept in the shadows taps fiercely at your shoulder, “Im still here, don't forget that,” it says.
You pull yourself out, always making time for others, putting yourself last or not even in at all. The clouds dance around behind your eyes, willing and threatening to make you theirs. But you stay intrepid, unmoving, eyes fixated on the sky.
I see the little slips, the tiniest stumbles you pass for humour. I see the control you put into your voice when it wants to dip into a lower timbre. I see you flinch when you feel the onslaught of panic bearing you painfully naked to the world like an exposed nerve. I see you squeeze your eyes tight and fend off whatever is coming.
I hope you know that.
I hope you know I see you.