"... I also felt like an eggshell that had gotten a tiny crack. You can't repair something like that. All you can do is hope that it sticks together, hope that the crack doesn't grow until all your insides come spilling right out." -- Leila Sales, This Song Will Save Your Life
It just seems like borrowed time. Snapping responses cut a little deeper than they might have years ago.
Either because the words are harsher now or because the membrane holding them together is thinner than it once was. Making it harder to come back fully after every embroilment, however small.
She couldn't even judge the scale anymore because even the smallest causes turn into bigger-than-necessary results.
Her mind and memories would inevitably flip through every hurt he had caused. Maybe that wasn't fair, but the pain was real. Apologies might have helped at one point. She wouldn't know.
She only had her perspective and there is only ever one person that takes the blame.
Her own insecurities fanning the flames of fear that the next one was going to be the one that would cause everything to break apart. The final shoe was sure to drop eventually. Maybe.
She's not going anywhere but a life walking on eggshells can be exhausting and she is tired enough.
Even the sporadic rays of love and affection warm her briefly, but the effects dissipate. She feels the criticism. She feels defensive. She feels the contempt.
She feels the wall being built, brick by brick. And she knows she has a hand in it as well. She feels faded.
Like Marty McFly's snapshot, gripped tightly as the images of his family slowly vanished. There, but not entirely, and in danger of disappearing altogether.
Resisting the urge to take flight is easier now. It isn't just two anymore and there is more at stake.
And those feelings cycle in, and out, and in, and out. Fresh wounds open over old scars that never healed. A shared joke that has them both pleased and laughing.
Painful memories that were never addressed. She waits for the next rollercoaster dip, however small, that makes her stomach drop and keeps her muted with waves of nausea.
Just living in perpetual anticipation that she's going to do something wrong. And readying her responses that she'll do better, act quicker, forget less.