The wood creaked under my weight as I stepped further into the room. I knew those shoes, I had bought them for his birthday; I knew that wrinkled shirt, I had washed it many times. I knew him, he was my lover.
I just want you to be happy.
And I tried to explain to him that I won’t always be happy, that it didn’t quite work that way – that I didn’t quite work that way. I won’t always be happy and that was okay. More than that, I don’t rely on others for my happiness. Yes, even him.
I saw the confusion in his eyes, then. Now, I only see his torso and his legs.
I had told him once, years ago, that balloons made me happy. I liked them from beginning to end. From inflating them, to helium sounds, to flying high into the sky. I liked popping them and bouncing them. Balloons fly and I help them with that flight.
He wanted me happy. A simple request that’s not so simple when the mind can run and twist things into demons. Yet he tried, he appeased, he indulged.
I reached out and ran my hand along the top of the balloon. “What did you do to yourself?”
He didn’t reply, couldn’t reply. Instead, he clapped his hands and let evermore balloons fly from his grasp.