He Looks My Way
He looks my way but I don't think he sees me.
He's too caught up in a memory. A memory of another girl. The one who changed him.
Made him better.
He thinks about her. I can tell.
The way his eyes glaze over. The way the tears gather.
But never fall. He never lets them fall.
And that's worse. Eyes awash with tears but then he blinks, clears his throat, pretends to move on.
He never moves on.
I don't think he ever will.
Is she gone?
He looks like he thinks she is.
Wish I could make him better. But he'd never let me. Not ever.
I say something, and his head flips around. Again, lost in a memory. Or maybe hoping it is her, not me.
He imagines that he hears her voice, or sees her smile. Looking in my direction.
His hearts ache, and he pretends that he's fine.
He says he's always alright.
He never is.
But then, I catch him sometimes, when he thinks I'm not there. Laughing. Talking, low and quiet. As if someone's there with him.
And also, sometimes, I see his hand reach out, as if to grab hold of something. And when his hand only meets air, he draws back, clenches his fist and swallows.
(Sometimes I think he forgets her hand isn't there waiting for him to hold his.)
He barely touches his chips one evening, in a tiny shop in 1969.
We don't ever try and eat chips again.
He laughs and he smiles and he enthuses about adventures, and yet anyone watching him who knows him, also knows he's pretending.
That's what he does.
He loses someone, and he has to go on.
Remembering better times, but living through the present with a silly grin on his face hiding the pain he feels within.
What a daft old alien he is.
And there's nothing I can do.
He looks my way but he never sees me.
And he never will.