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I'd say 'I love you' every day and always let you have your way, if only I could make you stay.

But what more would you have me say?

Each day I live and breathe my fear that you will go and leave me here alone, with all the world to bear, knowing I did not hold you dear enough to keep you in this life, enough to guard you from your strife and hide my own, and hide your knife, and be the perfect sister, wife, and mother, friend and lover, child, psychologist and saviour mild, and meek and strong and weak and wild.

For on myself, it seems I've piled not only all my fears and foes, but also all your tears and woes; and though I love, I only lose myself amid infinite yous. I wonder,is it worth the pain to shelter you from dark and rain, and try to hold you here in vain? I can't love you alone again.

"If you go," I once implored, "take me with you." He promised then not to leave without me.

We both knew that trying to get out was a fool's dream. He had tried many times, but never got very far before coming back to me. He would say "I couldn't go without you. I didn't want to leave."

Was it selfish of me to want him to stay? I wonder now as I look over at his empty cell. The alarm bells woke me from my dream.

He had called to me, in the dream, from the top of a cloud, holding out his hand for me, begging me to be there.

He left. He left me here, alone. He promised to take me. And I did not wake to his call, so he left. He has never made it so far as this. Each time before, when he even eyed the threshold too intently, they simply glared at him and said a few sharp words, sending him back to his cell.

"Just making sure you guys are watching," he would quip.

This time, it seems, he really has escaped. And I am alone.

But now, the door opens, and light from the outside floods the dark dirt floor. His head hangs low, his hands shackled behind his back, and he will not look up at me. Six weeks in solitary at least, for this. So he is back, not gone.

But still, he left. And so still, I am alone.


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Infinite Improbability Drive

Infinite Improbability Drive

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