A rope fraying at the center

She did just one mistake once, took a little misstep, let lose a few unnecessary words,
But they were necessary, and the step wasn’t a miss, and she would never call it a mistake.
Rather, the difference between self-defense and a frontal attack.

But for her, it was a blow to the ribs, that smashed her senses to hard reality.
A back-stab. An et tu. Seething with disbelief,
she also thought it necessary to retaliate, eyes hard and brows furrowed.
Carefully chosen words reeking of betrayal. And a lifelong burden.

Two neighboring countries jealous of their own similarities,
they both knew they were the ones wronged.
So they pulled out their lashing weapons,
with every intent to strike at the chinks visible to just them,
And then whimpered into their own pity holes licking their wounds, teary eyed, and faithless.

For some wounds, no medicine works. Some wounds leave behind their marks.
Scars – the body’s memories. Beautiful. Flaunted. Hideous. Hidden.
But none devoid of stories. Or lessons.
And scars were what they were left with. Scars only visible to the other.
So that when they hugged, they could feel them at their backs
and when they ran into each other at a busy street, they could see it in the light that shone in their eyes;
So that what was natural once turned into a conscious effort
And what was friendship became an obligation;
So that the emptiness took away everything left to blame.

They tried still. Wordless apologies. Tiring facades. Soulless Discussions.
In little lockers they buried the words they wished they could take back
Instead of exchanging them again for mellower understanding.
The scars scared them from facing each other with jarred truths.
Instead they just smiled. Eyes averted. Hearts locked.


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