Remember when you kicked me in the head and told me it was my fault, I’d leaned into it, or when you took me by the throat and told me to apologise for upsetting you? I want to say it’s funny now, but it’s not. I wake with the fruits of your labours festering on my skin, caught in iced droplets of sweat that chill me in ways I can never say. I wish I had scars that could heal, something to show for the violence and pain, something I could use and not merely the memory of abuse.
There’s a breeze lingering by the window sill and she rubs her arm in defense of the chill. I ask her if she’s cold. Her reply sounds on the inside of my head, making me wonder if either of us had really spoken. Wrapping my arm around her waist I raise her up and carry her to the couch. There are blankets if you need one, I tell her. She only stares into the corners of the room. This time I feel her silence against my skin and I shiver as if she had spoken the chill into life.