He would show up at my work, late at night. He'd have a couple drinks, and rant. He said he knew it was the only time he could talk to me without people suspecting something was going on. Without her stuck to his side because she was too young to get in. He would drone on in run on sentences and words I could tell would read in parenthesis. This became his method. His escape, or more accurately, his mask. The sentences were his sentence and he was serving time for crimes he didn't even commit yet. But he hung himself for them anyway. He had a thing about pain. Causing and receiving. All in a way that made me think he'd only truly be happy if he died alone. But he couldn't be alone. He was never built for the loneliness, finding himself in bed with strangers to pass the time. And he carved the names of those strangers in the post he hung himself from. He could take a bruise, or a beating, better than anyone. But throw a few spiteful words in his face and he's singing a different tune. One with a lousy melody that doesn't rhyme at all. Yet still something you'd hear on a top 40 chart. He treated me like the therapist he had been avoiding but so desperately needed. And he wanted more of me like the Ativan he had been pumping through his digestive track. He had a problem. And to him, I was the solution. But, I was his dirty secret. Most people still didn't know we had ever dated. We were a past best left forgotten by the present. The ugly dirt swept under the rug of everything that could have been beautiful. We were shadows of a light so bright it was almost blinding. We were a light, but one best left off. But there was something in his sadness, and, even though I knew I couldn't do it, I tried to be his hero.