Steady at War

Steady at War

A Story by Gianna Anaya

A war fought in your arms


Your heart is pounding through your chest and into mine as your hands leave traces only you and I can see. I tremble beneath your fingertips and melt with every touch of your lips along my neck. When my hand trails its way down your torso, my fingerprints like kisses with no designated path, I slowly begin to feel you unwind under me. I move to whisper sweet nothings into your ear when my world stops. All of a sudden your hands feel harder and calloused, the birthmark on your hip begins to remind me of someone else, your wandering hands are no longer yours, and I have nowhere to run. I try to listen to the logical side of my brain and tell myself that I’m safe, that I’m in bed with you, that there is no way in hell you would ever hurt me but my brain gets stuck on the word hurt and suddenly my nerves are on fire and someone’s dragging a blade across my skin somewhere in the space between where your hand lies on my hip, and where your hand caresses my cheek.

As my best friend you notice the changes, and as my best friend you hold me close trying to hide me from the demons you can’t see. I feel cloudy and lost, like if I take too deep of a breath I’ll evaporate into the fog and they’ll have me. Hands grab at me from the safety of your arms and I want to scream for them not to touch you, to leave us alone, but how do you scream at a figment of your brain's imagination? I’m being pulled under with words that once fooled me into believing I deserved this, that this is what little girls get when they’re good. I close my eyes allowing the waves to take me because goddammit it’s harder to fight than it is to breath and I’m not sure how much war I can take when I already know the ending...then I hear your voice. The weight holding my arms down begins to weaken and I clutch the fabric of your shirt, anchoring myself to now when I hear your voice again. Slowly my shaking stops. Slowly the demons crawl back into the corner of my brain I can’t unravel. Slowly I relax into the bends of your body until I feel as if I can no longer tell the difference between your edges and mine.

Our moment is gone. The heat has dissipated from your tongue and now you hold me as if I’ll run away if you don’t grasp me tight enough. Guilt replaces fear, ‘I’m sorry’ replaces the shaking, and shame courses through my veins until I can barely stand myself. I’m swept into arms that spell safety over my broken pieces, and whisper promises until my bones feel like my own again. I want to tell you I’m better now but right now I exist in a bubble of silence where you hold me like I’ve always wanted to be held. My lips remain shut as I breathe in you, I’ve found safety here and I’m scared to lose it. Vulnerability corrupts my walls until I feel the need to explain that d****t I’m stronger than this, it’s just hard to fight the demons when you look in the mirror...and there they are...but believe me I’m trying. Just hold me for tonight.

© 2017 Gianna Anaya

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Added on November 25, 2017
Last Updated on November 25, 2017
Tags: PTSD, love, safety, best friend


Gianna Anaya
Gianna Anaya

I write the world that exists around me; I write the world I wish existed around me; I write the world I hope no one ever has to witness; above all I write the corners of my brain that I simple can't .. more..

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