The sensation of strength. Feeling the fierceness of their protection, the tenderness of their hold. The warmth of skin that is not your own. The wonder and the miracle of each freckle, each eyelash like hair that brushes you. The feeling in your heart and your stomach and your mind. The belonging.
The melting and melding of one body into another. The creation of this new consciousness. Shared. Finally whole. The wonder and realisation that somebody in this lonely world is holding you. That there is someone who chooses you. Who feels the same hunger. The famine of the soul when you are apart. The emptiness when alone. The pain of separation. The lack of all comfort and ease. The human need for touch, another’s skin on your skin. Belonging. Knowing you are wanted. You matter. Yesterday and all your life you were nothing, but now you are cherished because there are arms holding you, safe, loved, claimed. Knowing that even though you are brave and you are strong you can rest and be in their care. Because they chose you. They see you. You are no longer alone.
But one day the arms are gone. The love, the warmth, the life are taken back. You are naked. You are outside. You are watching, watching the arms that were your promise, your vow, your future, wrapped around another now. As you shiver. Cold. Alone
How do you go on? How do you keep on being you when the half of you that you loved most is missing?
How does your heart keep beating when it wants to stutter and stop. When you want to lie down. Be quiet. Still. Cover your eyes. See no more. Be no more. When you want to stop. Stop feeling the skin hunger and skin betrayal and soul treachery. Just stop. Forever. For always.
But you can’t. The choice is not yours to make. So many wants. So many needs. So many little arms with strength that chokes and thwarts and revives. Little arms that need you. Need the strength he took, the warmth he stole, the love he gave away. The touch you crave is not their constant touch. You miss his touch in a way that shreds you to the raw nerves, naked bone.
They are relentless. Their grasping arms, their insistence that you stand up. That you move. That you open your eyes. They fist their hands and knock knock knock on your hollow chest, compelling your withered heart to beat again. To pulse, to throb, to pound again. To swell and fill again with the love they must have or die. You prune. You deadhead. You pluck the blackened remnants from the reawakening buds. You cut and cut and cut the pain and hurt that freezes you and saps your strength. You need to be new and fresh and strong and free so that you have room for their pain and their hurt. To take it away. Because they too have lost the arms that held them.
Now your arms must be stronger. Must grow and grow until they are big enough and strong enough to hold yourself. To keep yourself safe. To keep yourself warm. To love yourself. And to be long enough to enfold them when they are sad and alone and lost and alone. Your arms will be their comfort, their strength. You give give give because that is what you do. What you need. The giving gives you strength. Fills your heart. Fills your arms.
You are full. Full up with their love and faith. They trust. They know. They see you. Your arms will always be there for them. Forever. This is truth. This is known. They will never be lost.
But what of you? When your new mighty arms feel they could shrink and shrivel because you are no longer claimed, paired, matched. When your heart wants to shrivel, because it is easier and you are tired, so very tired.
You must remember you are still loved. Not by him. Not by him. He never looks back. But their little arms have the strength to hold you to life and love. To show you your hidden self. The self you have to be now. The self they deserve and are owed. The self you want to be for their sakes.