The Arm That Wasn’t There

Arm and Arm

It hurts… a little bit. When you reached out to grab a friend by their arm as you both traverse a busy lunch area.

They pull their arm out of reach. You wonder what was wrong.

A tinge of memory floats to the surface from the subconscious. You can’t exactly see what memory it was, what happened or how it looked like.

But you remember the emotion. The pain…

Of being the object of shame.

The guilt…

Of not being good enough that a friend can be proud to call you friend.

The hurt… blame and shame… inevitably doom and gloom… of this rabbit hole.

You think, “oh no not again.”

These thoughts rush through your brain. These emotions overwhelm you. Your heart beats suddenly faster. And you gulp quick shallow breathes.

Your hand falls. This is all too familiar.

These all happened in a split second.

Then you see them. Your companion walks toward their incoming friends who appeared out of nowhere. They talk. You aren’t introduced nor recognized.

You just disappeared.

You realize your place. You walk away. You think of going back to work on your own but thought better of it.

Your friend does not know how this is wrong. Nor are you sure they will see how. It is not their place to make things better. They have their own beliefs to deal with. Beliefs that made them pull their arm out of reach.

From an outside observer, the occurence looks so simple, so innocent. Yet that simple and innocent pulling of their arm, unearthed were layers of fear and deep limiting meaning.

You understand your friend’s decision. And you reaffirm yours: you will not be taken for granted nor be made ashamed of yourself… again.

You stand outside the lunch area and wait for them to finish. Your friend comes maybe looking for you.

You smile and you both head back.

But it hurts… a little.

*impromptu drama, forgive errors

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