I think it was shock, the real kind. The kind you get after trauma. Shallow breathing, sweat and chills. I couldn’t see and I felt grateful for the long ride between stops because I couldn’t walk. The old woman sitting next to me rubbed my back and whispered soothing words in Spanish. I remember wondering what she was saying but couldn’t find the words to ask her. I stared with blank eyes and don’t know when she got off the bus. Port St. Lucie to Dallas was a blur. I have no memory of it except for the breakdown in Ocala. The bus stop was like an old train station. I think I ate a hamburger but can’t be sure. All I saw was your face. For hundreds of miles. Your eyes begging me to stay, your arms not wanting to let me go. I often wonder what was going on in your head at that moment or months later when you cut off contact. I never really think about those first few days after I left because I can’t remember them. I’m pretty sure it was shock. What does it mean that leaving you traumatized me like an accident? That losing you caused physical and emotional trauma? It’s strange that this one moment, this one choice has defined me. I have made these future choices, the kind that feel permanent, and with every step, I see your face the same way I saw it on those hazy days on that dirty bus. What does it mean to feel never quite recovered from a trauma that was never really a trauma? How do you move past something like that?




6 thoughts on “Shock

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