Something broke in me as I looked at you. My heart fell and the wind was knocked out of my chest. My mind whirled as a lump formed in my throat, tears stinging the back of my eyes. Your beautiful brown curls, so soft to my touch lay, almost as if brutally stranded, atop your head in a mess. It was evident your hand through them several times, in frustration and worry, unlike in your usual boyish charm. Your eyes looked heavy, rimmed red from sleepless nights, glassy from your tears. Your cream skin paler than usual, looked vulnerable to touch. Your cheeks hollowed out, eyes sunken, face still moist from earlier shed tears. Your perfect jawline that framed your face had suffered a ghastly blow; a bruise still visible on the left. Your hands hung idly by your sides. And just as I looked at you tears welled up in your eyes and your lips quivered slightly. Lips that were as if bursting with red. You looked as vulnerable as you were and my mind numbed as my heart screamed for you. I hadn’t felt the tears that had started to run down my face and almost involuntarily my hands rose as I stepped towards you. My hand cupped your face gingerly as if my fingertips were afraid, they’d hurt you. Your face leaned in to my touch and my eyes shut briefly as I let out the smallest gasp in relief. I guided your head to my rest on my shoulder, my fingers gently threaded through your curls, caressing them, with your face cradled in my neck, your tears hot on my skin. I held you, close, and let ‘you’ fog all my senses, let ‘you’ fill my heart, my mind my arms. I let out a breath I didn’t realize I was holding and I breathed in ‘you’. And even as I held you, you saved me.

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