Once there was a broken boy who lived a broken life. He didn’t know he was broken because he was strong and brave and true and kind. The broken boy loved with all of his heart, but did not give that love freely–the broken boy chose his loves carefully.
The broken boy grew to become a broken man. He married a broken woman. She also didn’t know she was broken, but she suspected it. They had many broken children and were married for many broken years.
Throughout his life, the broken boy remained loyal and true, as was his desire, for he loved the broken woman with all of himself. But he, like the woman, was broken. She picked at his pieces, wore away great chunks with her actions and words. She picked at the parts of him until the broken man realized pieces of himself were missing. He realized his once-upon-a-time was just that. Once.
The fairy tale was unraveling, like his heart had done and his soul was doing. The broken man felt hollow, empty–he had no pieces left to give, yet still she dug into him. Searching, always, for a piece of him that would fit with her. She tore into him, and looked for that last, loose, final piece. He would no longer allow it. He took back the pieces of himself from the broken woman, from her hoard of him.
She’d been trying to keep herself together with his shards for she figured out she was broken long ago. She suspected. But she did not seek outside help. Instead, she tried to glue his pieces into the spaces between. Into the darkness, she tried to feed his light, but it was swallowed. She took the strength freely given like a thief in the night with out regard to how much or how often she was taking. She took in stealth, quietly, and with malice something that the broken man would have just handed over if she’d but asked. She soaked up his love, ounce by ounce, but returned only grams. The vault was emptied and she tore away the only thing that could have helped them both.
She could never trust in his love of her, for she knew she was dirty and terrible and hard to love. She was taught that from an early age and she learned her lesson well. And this distrust bred betrayal–she shattered his trust in her.
Yet the pieces remained, so he stayed.
This, then, leads the broken man and the broken woman to now, to this moment, when final bit of trust falls away. The pieces are returned to the broken man, and the broken woman lies shattered. He must reclaim himself and put the pieces back together on his own terms. He must no longer love freely–he can’t. He is empty. He is alone.
The broken woman once told her broken father that she couldn’t have love without trust. She’d finally gathered enough of both from the broken man. She’d finally started to believe in his love and trust in him with all of herself. Too late she realized that the things she had greedily taken were offered freely and in honesty and truth. Too late she understood that the gift he had given her was misused.
Some of the pieces he gathered up were not his, for her parts were in the jumble. He held her heart, her soul. She is in pieces. She begs silently, pleads in whispers, for she knows, now, the depth of despair that her malice created. For his beautiful eyes are flat, emotionless. His smiles few and far between. His laughter vacant–it is in the jumbled pieces.
The broken woman picks up the few parts left, gathers her tattered courage and begs for her life. For he is hers and she is his. When the broken man and the broken woman are in harmony, when trust is allowed to flourish and love given room to bloom, they are just man and woman, husband and wife–soulmates. Two pieces of a puzzle that fit perfectly together. So well that they are no longer broken. She knows those edges are jagged and worn, but with hope and knowledge of her wrong doings, knowing when to give and when to take–she hopes that the pieces will grow back together and fuse.
2016 – Dawn Olmo
(Just something I wrote a few months back.)