**Trigger Warning: Abuse (Physical)**
Deep Brown eyes stare back at me,
Fleeting whispers floating between us,
Shadows creep silently,
Across broad brown shoulders,
The darkness melding within the chocolate hues,
Lengthening to point accusingly,
At the faded bruise
That still held faint outlines of his hand.
“Are you okay? Should I call someone?”
I hear the teacher’s voice whisper
My eyes jump back up,
Shamed to be caught,
Starting at the dark eyes,
That hid darker shadows.
“I’m fine, I fell”
I watched her rouge tipped lips open in reply,
Tasting the words,
Rolling them around her tongue
Until they fit,
Like words spoken
“Should I call a doctor?”
The persistent voice asked again,
Concern and patronization moving together
To create a melody of the question,
“No really I am fine, I fell.”
Stronger, this time
The eyes lit with the flame of memory,
Recreated to a story to be told over and over,
Each time more real than the last.
Hands lift reaching across
Touch the fading bruise,
Face flinching from where my fingers lay,
Turning to look away.
With a breath, I slowly withdraw my hand
Shaking as it moves from the mirror.
Square the shoulders,
A deep inhalation and whisper…
“I am fine, I fell.”
© Manivillie Kanagasabapathy
AN: Sometimes the title is the hardest part of writing, I am still not sure if this is right, or if it should be The Lies We Tell Ourselves (sometimes I way too obsessive over one word, but other times I realize that is what makes me love writing – each word).