He kept his eyes lowered, directed at the end of the couch, deliberately avoiding mine. There was nothing, I knew, that I could do to help him, the man I wanted to reach out to, reach out and show him that I cared deeply about him. That I was there for him. As I endeavored to do so, I felt him pull away slightly, but not so far that my fingers weren't able to close gently over his. He withdrew further into his own isolation, and his hand trembled a little beneath mine as I whispered his name. Reluctantly, he brought his head up just a few inches, hoping that it would satisfy me, and I saw that his pale eyes were filled with unshed tears that glittered along his eyelid, threatening to spill over the edge.
My mind flooded with countless words of sympathy, but I said nothing, knowing that anything that I said would fall on deaf ears. He isn't the man that I used to know, and I hate myself for not noticing it until now, as he looks back to the carpet, ashamedly. One tear hangs from a long eyelash: a tear that he fought so hard to keep from my view. As it trickled to the end of his lash, I watched it make it's short journey to the carpet, I moved my hand from his, grazing it against his cheek softly, as a reminder that I was there for him. He fell against me, finally allowing the cascade of tears to flow freely, his body quivering with small, silent heaves, the tears seeping into my shirt. I tangled my fingers gently through his soft, fluffy brown hair, holding him in close in a warm and loving embrace.
He never spoke a word about his ever consuming sadness, to me or otherwise. I always noticed when he was feeling down, his behaviors changed dramatically, and he fell into prolonged silences that left me feeling cold and alone. He told me he was fine whenever I asked, and shunted the blame to having a quiet day. I'm not sure how long he had been feeling this way, hiding his griefs from me, but it had been getting progressively worse, so bad that no amount of acting could have stopped me from believing his lies.
After almost half an hour, his body slackened against mine, his sobbing slowly subsiding as he tucked himself wearily against my chest. I ran a warm hand tenderly up and down his back that occasionally hitched with the last of his uncontrollable sobs. Neither of us spoke, and when he eventually drifted into the merciful arms of sleep, I made sure to keep watch over him into the early hours, until I was satisfied that he would not awake, when I allowed myself to drop off too.
To this day, he has never spoken of what it is that causes him to feel such griefs, although I make sure to always ask, but he allows me to see when he feels the burden of them weighing him down, and allows me to try blindly to heal or console him. As I ponder his ills for the millionth time, I hear soft footsteps behind me, and before I can turn to face him, his arms knot around my waist, his head nuzzling against my shoulder. I move a hand to gently pet his hair, dropping it down to stroke his cheek as ever so lightly his lips touch my skin in a kiss that barely grazes my neck. I turn in his arms and see his eyes, once again rimmed with tears and stained pale red. he engulfs me almost immediately in a desperate embrace and clings to me, needing me to hold him. I feel his fingers tighten shakily as they grab at my shirt.
His pleading eyes lift to meet mine again, and I feel him take a shallow breath. His trembling lips part and his voice chips hoarsely through the silence.
"Lie to me," he says quietly, his eyes begging me to do as he asks without question. I meet his gaze with my own one of confusion and ask him what he means. He looks away, head wilting back into my chest, fingers loosening their grip on my shoulders and sliding away weakly as I speak. I feel a warmth against my shirt as they first tears seep through. I feel him tug at the fabric as he repeats himself in a quivering voice.
"Lie to me," he whispers feebly as more tears seep into my shirt. With horror I realize what it is that he wants me to say, and my heart breaks with the meaning of the words, his sadness conveyed through a simple sentence, a tiny request. One that left me feeling hopelessly unsure of how to help him as he quietly begged me to help him in a way that I knew I couldn't. His sadness registered in my mind, but the words cemented what he was thinking. I squeeze my eyes shut as a wave of emotion breaks over me, but nothing could keep the first tear from coming. Spilling forth, it lands silently in his hair. He feels it and brings his large eyes to look up at me.
"James?" he asks, feeling me pull away, his grip tightening desperately as I draw apart from his embrace. I bring my fingers to touch beneath his chin, angling his head towards mine. My lips draw to touch his, caressing them with a gentle, loving kiss. He drew his body into mine in a tight embrace, needing my touch to keep him in control of his griefs. Between soft, long kisses I murmur to him gently, assuring him that I would never lie to him, before our lips met again, sealing what I had said with the most loving of touches.