The Rubber Band

"Here's my heart," I said, handing it to you.

My chest cavity was carved open with a hesitant edge; ruffles, not unlike those on my childhood summer dress, were starch still, pried open, waiting for the wind to unify them. There was a stillness in the air - a quietness. My hand was suspended in space, knuckles whitened with a grip - too strong.

The rusty blade cut through the silence, a drip so red. The sound was vibrantly tenacious, painting a poisonous tone throughout the room. I preferred the silence. Before I could understand what was happening, it rained around me. Then thunder. I forgot what silence was.

Everything echoed and bounced as I closed my eyes. How could I make it stop? My whole body was a band of rubber tensed between two points - Before and After. Then and Now. With you and Without you. How long could I hold before it snapped?

It happens suddenly and with equal force. Whiplash. Did you mean to hurt me twice?

You never meant to hurt me at all, you said, but it's always what you do. You convinced yourself everything was wrong, again. Tell me again. Tell me you mean it.

The words never rolled off your tongue. We were six year old children and they bounced off of you. You were rubber and I was glue. They were always my words coming back to hurt me.

I should have let go sooner.