when the rest is silence
This is how people disappear: slowly, in small moments. There’s nothing fast or sharp about it, until it’s all too late, and the world’s tumbling sideways.
An absent nickname. No hello hug or kiss. And a smile that seems less than it should be. These are all signs.
It is the beginning of goodbye. It’s that easy, and that hard, to spot. To single out. To admit to. Because we all want to hide, don’t we? From that Jabberwocky of Change. That howling beast of disappointment. The stupid nagging shadow-monster that whispers of regret, pain, and failure. Most of all, it speaks in riddles of death.
But that moment that causes the tide to turn? It’s when you are too afraid to say how you feel or what you feel. It’s when you worry about what speaking up will do, about what that will mean.
That is a how a relationship dies, slowly, with each choice. When you can no longer be who you are, because it is not welcome. When your opinion no longer matters. When you are constantly brushed aside by a hundred different excuses. Absences rationalized away in favor of something, or someone, else.
Small moments. Small choices. Lies, instead of truth. Omission, instead of honesty. Selfishness, instead of kindness. Apathy, instead of love.
Suddenly, you are gasping in a corner. The last bit of stale heart stuck in your teeth. You realize, then, that it’s your own. You’ve cannibalized who you are for the sake of someone else. And it has to end. But it’s going to hurt. These things always do.
This is how people disappear. Or haven’t you noticed?