I can know the truth in your words and they can still bring me sadness. I can understand the steps that brought you to this place and the destination can still confound me. I can find a grace that opens the windows on this sweltering moment and I can still feel defeated in the next. I can accept a resolve and still waver from it with every beat of my heart. I can feel rooted in my decision and still wonder if I’ll make out as a fool. That I can love you and that can hurt me so much; I don’t know how to know that paradox.

Around and around in this moment I go, a heart palpitating stretch in this elastic untruth. My nerves renounce themselves one by one until I feel only the tremor in my hands. Don’t go looking for trouble, I told myself in a moment of bliss. And I should have listened, because I found it. I feel out the boundaries, blind from the darkness of newly lost ignorance. I’ll never be able to map it. The time has already passed, the suture it stitched is closed and healed. It’s become a part of a history I didn’t know I had. And so to remove it from the bandage now is only ill advised, there is no other side.

What’s left for me now is to know this pain. To howl like you must have in the indecision that cut you at your knees. The only thing to do now is to live with it, to find some silent company with the shame you must carry. All that’s left for me is to feel the bottom of this moment, to sit in the dark and familiarize myself with the place where you fell. There’s nothing to be done but to know it, and to depart from it willingly.

Just when I think I know grace, just when I’m foolish enough to believe that I understand what it expects of me, it teaches me the lengths I’ll have to go to know it all my life. I dig deep to root my anguish somewhere fertile, somewhere where it will blossom into answers that can make sense to me, answers I can accept and forgive. For you to live with your secret, that’s one thing. It’s a choice you made, a price you paid. And now I must pay it too.

Somewhere in this dark soil, I will myself to fraternize with your pain, to know how it whispered in your ear, how it guided you forward. And I will forgive it. Like I would a petulant child or a stubborn cat. I will forgive it for being so easily misled, I will forgive it for caving to its flighty nature, I will forgive it for breaking a little piece of my heart. I will know that this so easily brands me, like the fools I write about, and yet I will drown my devastation in so much forgiveness it could wipe the slates of the whole world clean.

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