i watched the screen, saw the animated ellipsis and heard my heartbeat grow increasingly loud in my ears. i thought "here we go, this is it. confession time" and braced for what would appear next on the screen. the next few exchanges already confirmed what i knew in my heart of hearts: he was never unfaithful. but, still there had been things he had not owned up to— information he had kept hidden and these, i simply could not fathom, the reason for. they aren't things that hold very much weight. in fact, practically none at all. but the act of omission is what casts a looming shadow over it all.

i believe him, though. and through the screen, feel my heart ache for everything that he seems to be internalising. we text back and forth for a little while more before i steel myself to hit call. i wondered if he'd intercept. given his current state. the moment he did, i'd been half a second away from ending the call.

we spoke. in hushed tones that sounded more like whispers than actual speech. i heard the defeat in his voice. "i'm tired," he says. over and over. to know that a person i love with all of my heart is struggling with pain i cannot help to alleviate is the most helpless feeling i could possibly experience.

it wasn't hard to keep my words soft this time. he was finally being vulnerable and slowly opening up. progress. we spoke for what felt like hours. perhaps it was because we were finally treading deeper waters.

"i wish you wouldn't keep insisting on pushing me away," i finally say quietly.

"i wish you'd let me love you through the darkness. and even if you feel you can't love yourself right now, trust that i can love you enough. know that i can love you enough for the both of us."

it was beginning to sound as if he was steeping between sleep and awake.

"you should sleep now, no?" i said as gently as i could.

"i can't. i sleep very little these days."

"did you bring your sleep meds?"

silence.

"hm? did you bring your sleep meds?" i pressed a second time.

"no."

his voice sounded so small.

"please bring those with you."

silence.

"okay?"

silence again.

"you need them. huh?"

"okay," came the small voice again.

we can never know of the storms that wage within a person's soul. but the one thing that i have learnt in this life is that you can choose to sit in the hole all by yourself or you can choose to sit in the hole with people. nothing changes the fact that it will still be a hole you're sitting in and the storms will still wage. but sitting in the hole with people makes it (a hell of a lot) easier. makes the time pass faster. makes it feel less scary. sometimes, for a second, it can even feel merry.

the more someone pushes you away is the more they need you. you shouldn't just leave him alone ahhh. aiya. reads a text from a friend in a separate window. i really don't want to. but how? do i just push my way through? was my response.

"it's like i'm sitting outside your door, just knocking and knocking. asking for you to let me in but there's just no answer."

"i'm not home," he answers softly sounding quizzical.

"it's a metaphor. just let me in. and let me love you."

and we'll be together in the dark.