We’re standing opposite one another.
Me and the boy.
Me, with insecurities spilling to the pavement and tears running my spirit dry, and the boy, with his faltering understanding and screaming eyes.
I draw my lips into the best line I can manage. I quell my tears, reserving them to the well settling in my stomach.
He turns away, arms crossed over his fading, shredding t-shirt.
This, I slowly realize, will not end like the story crafted in my mind. My narrative written on real life has gone horribly awry.
“I guess this is it then.” His voice trembles as my heart descends foggy valleys unknown.
Wait … But ingrained habit and childhood rules dictate; my poker face must remain. The last one standing wins. I’ll regret this …
Slowly, I reach a shaking hand for his.
We collect our shattered pieces in silence, me and my poker face opposite the boy I love.
I plaster my poker face, like a second skin, and tell myself it’s ok over and over again.
The boy tucks himself gently into the darkest corners of his mind where he confides in demons he hides.
The last one standing wins. My poker face has become my sin.