‘Next time’ he said, as he walked out the door.
She pushed it shut behind him.

The click of the lock as he left sounded final.
Like a gong to her ears.

With wave after wave of sound, rippling out in circles
Battering her, exhausting her,
and nudging her mask aside for a moment.
Tears were there as soon as it had shifted.

She was standing, bent, her head leaning against the door.
One hand over her eyes, as if in place of the mask,
in hopes of stopping the tears,
the other on the door,

hand flat pressed up against it
and fingers spread wide
as though instead her hand was on his chest,
feeling the warmth of his skin and the beating of his heart
beneath her fingers.

But the only heart at the door was hers,
and the only feeling beneath her fingers was cold.


Rooted in place, head bent still as though by a weight,
she listened to the silence of her own heart.

She heard the ragged sound of her breathing.
Tears had crept from beneath her fingers.

They were carving salty tracks down her face.
She pulled at the mask, desperately,
trying to get it back where it was supposed to be.
Another voice could be heard, just then – calling her.

A small voice, tense. “where are you? I can’t find you”.
Her reply came as instinct, her voice turned light
“I’m here, don’t worry. I’ll be there in a second”
The small voice sounded scared.

Like a gong to her ears.
With wave after wave of sound, rippling out in circles
Battering her. Softening her.
Clearing her vision.
She stood tall all at once, wiping her eyes.

And felt the mask shift again, back in place,
as she moved towards the small voice.

(© 2o15 Leila Skidmore ~

Leila Skidmore

Leila Skidmore

Always a lover of words, I began reading them at a young age, and began creating with them shortly thereafter.

A bend in the road led me to embrace my introversion, and to discover my identity as a highly sensitive person. As I have moved along the path in learning more about who I am, how to take care of myself as an introvert, and how to handle the challenges of life as an HSP - my love of writing has been rekindled and embraced once again. It intertwines with the journey I am on, and is reflected in what I write.
Leila Skidmore

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