Skinny love, they called it. She'd heard the term in casual conversation, and from that day it'd been echoing in her head, trying desperately to pace a permanent place there.
Hopeless was another word she'd heard in its place; a love so hopeless that it soon became laughable. Skinny love was one held back by some secret force, some acid that'd turned their neutral substance sour. People liked to think that forces such as this were pre-determined, that once you were in such a relationship there was no escaping such a sour end, no matter how much you desperately tried to keep things intact.
It was true, they said, that the saddest of skinny loves often came from trying too hard, and this was the most miserable part.
She knew what kind of a person he was; caring, kind, compassionate. Sammy loved to help people, loved to make them feel better and cheer them up. Overall, he was the good part of their relationship. To herself, Abigail only seemed to be the bearer of a horrible black storm cloud. At first she hadn't even wanted to date him. It wasn't as if she weren't into him, because god knows she fought herself skin and nail to keep her feelings away, clearly unsuccessfully. It wasn't as if she was scared of being rejected-she knew that Sammy would do it nicely if she'd ever decided to make the first move.
She was afraid of hurting him.
She liked to think of their love as parasitic, as much as it pained her to feel this way. He was there to care for her every step of the way, to make sure she was eating and caring for her own body. He was always concerned about her, always willing to drop what he was doing to make certain that she was going to be alright when she was in a rough patch. Not once did she hear him complain. He simply did it because he loved her, because he hated seeing her starve herself and worry about an image he saw as the most beautiful.
She hated having him around because she began consuming so much of his time. When they talked it was for hours, Sammy letting her vent while she simply let everything out to him. He sat and listened, nodding or making comments when needed but never once interrupting her. He was hooked and she could tell, but she also knew that it was beginning to wear on him. Their late night talks drained him of his energy, and his dancing suffered. His worry then translated to his grades, and she desperately fought to let him go.
We were never here… He says as he catches her in the act. She knows that it's stupid of her, that she's daft for believing that a few simple cuts will change her horrid feelings. She's idiotic for believing that one simple round of vomiting will change her figure, that she will come out of the bathroom, her bedroom, the closet completely changed and beautiful to her own eye. She knows this, but still she continues to do these things. He finds her on occasion, blade in hand, head over toilet bowl; he saves her because she's worth saving, because she's more than what she believes. 'We were never here,' he says as he cleans her mess and sends her to bed. When he joins her he takes her in his arms, letting her lean against him in silence as he bandages her once again. She doesn't have to talk, doesn't have to explain her actions. He knows already that it is painful for her to admit these things, but that if she ever needs to she will come to him. He vows that he'll never stop caring for her and somehow she knows that this is true.
Abigail told him that he didn't deserve her, that she wasn't the best that he could find-far from it, actually. She told him that her eating habits were better than ever, that she was no longer sick and he didn't have to worry so much about her. Still, he did not listen. She tried begging him, pleading for him to let her go. She implored him to cut his ties with her, to sever their bonds and let her fall on her own. He couldn't save her forever, she said. He couldn't be as strong and she wasn't always completely stable in her mental state. Cut the ropes, she'd said through gritted teeth, I'll be fine. He couldn't. She became hostile, kicking and screaming and using venomous language to his face. He did not waver. All of her tricks were used, and he still stood strong.
Mine, mine… He consoled her when she was feeling down. You are mine, you know that. You're mine and I won't let you do these things to yourself. You're better than this, Abigail. He used the word often, mine. He liked to think that it was more than just a single pronoun. It was more of an adage, something that was true and would always be true. He liked to think that this calmed her down, but in reality it only frightened her more. While he thought of ways to keep her, she crafted ways to rid him of herself, to save him the troublesome task of caring for her in such a way. She didn't want to hurt him.
When they broke up she tried desperately to blame him. She hadn't been expecting it, no matter how much she'd been trying to push him away. She used all of her power, every being in her mind to try and think of ways it was his fault. She tried desperately to hate him, but she couldn't bring herself to do it. For the first time she wasn't ready to senselessly blame someone for her own feelings. At least he was free.
The downside to skinny love was that there was nowhere to place the sorrow that it brought both people involved.
She and dance got back into their unhealthy relationship, something that only Sammy had cured. With the pain of their breakup she liked to think that she was stronger, that she learned from her mistake of getting so involved with a guy and letting herself become his. By dancing she figured she'd prove her strength, but what was strength when it caused you to revert to such evil behavior?
Abigail was happy to see him free, but still it tormented her. The boy who had once called her mine was with another, and she couldn't help but be jealous of their relationship. Was this new significant other called 'mine' as well? Was Sammy caring for him just as much as he cared for her? Why, oh why did she miss the parasitic relationship they'd had if it caused him so much pain? He still looked at her, though; still let himself linger on her. She was slightly frustrated with this, wanted so badly for him to let go of her. She didn't want her actions to bother him, didn't want him to waste his time on somebody who had become as messed up as her. Sammy still checked to make sure she was doing alright, however, because he could not rid himself of his skinny love. It was so powerful, consumed so much of him that she still encompassed his every thought. After Ollie she was there, in her same bright light, standing in front of him and willing him to give them another try. She surely wouldn't push him away again, would she?
Their painful love was ruined under circumstances uncontrollable to anybody. With the flick of a switch he was gone, and she no longer had to worry about his constant concern about her. She no longer felt a burden to him, felt as though one giant weight was lifted from her shoulders while the weight of his death was dropped on them. He was free from her at last, but the sting of their skinny love still weighed on Abigail.
She backed out of the bathroom stall completely unscathed, throwing a fresh blade into the trash as another tear escaped her eyes. She would fight her ugly subconscious. He was worth that much.