I wanted to reach out to to him, and his sunken eyes. He was gasping for air, I knew it. It was as if there was an invisible force around him that would not let it pass.
“I can’t.” he said.
I shook my head, willing him with my mind, or so I wished. He couldn’t hear me, he couldn’t see me. He was on his own, and he knew it. The darkness was consuming not just him now. It was all around me, sinking us further into an abyss underneath. I couldn’t stop trying. I had to just keep speaking out to him. I had to get him to understand that this was not all there is. That’s it’s miniscule in reality, but for right now, for him…it’s the entire galaxy.
If I could just break it. If I could just break through…
I took a deep breath on my own, hoping it was enough for him. I lifted my shaking fingers through this invisible force, and with sheer might, cupped his face. My fingers stilled and there was a glint, a small second of recognition. Somewhere inside…
“I…I…” he stammered out.
“You’re okay. You’re okay. Everything is going to be okay.” I said, softly.
His fingers clenched into a fist. He fought back tears. I grabbed a hold of his fists.
“No. It’s okay. I got you…I got you.”
His body got tighter beside mine. I pulled his head closer to my shoulder and started humming the tune. That tune, the one that pulled him back so many times. His mother sang it to him as a child, when the world around him got too chaotic and he closed in on himself. He taught it to me when he had clear eyes. It was better than a nursery rhyme, it saved him, every time.
It was an anchor. One with an end tied to his heart. I could sense him reaching for it, inside.
“You got it.” I whispered, his head still nuzzled.
His body released the tension he’s been holding tightly. He exhaled the darkness.
“That’s it. Just breathe.”
The tears started to flood. It was a sign he was letting go, allowing himself to return to me.
“I’m sorry.” he said.
His cheeks rose red, as they always do after an attack.
“There’s nothing to be sorry about.” I told him, and there really wasn’t.