Can you hear it?

He rubbed his face and eyes. It looked as though they were going to pop from his head.
She cringed as she watched, telling him that wasn't a good thing to do.
He ran his fingers through his hair and held his head.
Something was going on and she knew better than to ask. He couldn't explain it to her. He didn't understand it himself.

He's hard to live with when he gets like this. Like a caged animal with O.C.D.
He paced around the house, over and over. For hours he paced rubbing his face, running his hands through his hair.

Every now and then he would stop to stare blankly out over the ocean, sometimes for hours without moving. Silent tears would run down his face.

"You can't hear it can you?" he would whisper to her. "It's so loud."

"What?" she asked. "What do you hear?"

He would look at her with a pain on his face like she had never seen before.
Pure anguish. Something had hold of his soul and was squeezing the life out of it.

Then he would pace. He had told her long ago that it had nothing to do with her. He was like that before they met. He had always heard it.

He drove her crazy when he got like this. It was happening less often that it used to. Sometimes it would last for days. He would go without sleep or food. Rarely stopping for a Vodka Martini that did nothing to ease his pain.

It had been many years since he had smoked but he could still taste it. Still feel it on his fingers as he rolled them by hand. The sensation of it on his lips.
One joint and this would all go away. He just wanted it to stop.

He knew that if he gave in all of the years of going without were gone. All of it would have been for nothing. It had been too many years to go back now. You can't go back for just one visit. It all comes back as if it were never gone. It wasn't the answer. The pain would come back and he would be in this same spot again. It had always been there, even before the drugs. Even after, it remained.
Times like this made it hard. The cravings were so real. The temptation so great.

He would pace for miles. The same routine over and over. It drove her crazy. She couldn't watch it anymore. After years of this she knew enough to leave him alone.
The others tried to help him and it destroyed them. The last one used to tell him,
"I know you better than you know yourself...". This one knew, that only made things worse. What a stupid thing to say.

He would always go back to them. He needed them. They filled him. This one need him too. She would wait. Trying to be patient. Trying to understand. Trying to stay clear. Before she started to hear it too.

The only one who could reach him now...

Was himself.


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