It used to make me cry – the tears on her face & the rage in his eyes – voices raised loud & I hid in whatever corner I could find – froze till I became numb to it all – later it made me rage against him – especially after brother left – but I can’t blame him for leaving – just for not taking me when he went – then he had no one to stop him – to give him pause – I was too small to save her – yet something stopped him from coming at me – except for once – that day I cried my heart out – the friend who held me has hated him to this day – that friend is gone from my life – another unhealed wound that festers when touched – I wish I needed her now but I don’t – not as much or at least I didn’t – defenses shattered again this summer – left in tiny shards of black glass – she cried on my shoulder & asked me if I thought he still loved her – I can’t reconcile the hate I feel for one side & the love I feel for the other – need to put the shield back up because I don’t think I can take this – I don’t want to take it – if I don’t pull what’s left of the ice together I will lose what’s left of the love in the hate – & then the remnants of my heart will shatter again – put the shield back up because it is easier when no one is able to see beneath to the girl hiding in the corner with tears on her face – need to be numb again so that no one can see how easy it would be to worm their way in & break me – like he once did – like he still can – maybe the friend has a reason to hate him still & I have a need for her that has never gone away – those days are gone – it is my battle to save myself.

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