The Signs-HLR

“How did you not see the signs?”

when she said she couldn’t write
when you began to miss her smile
when she couldn’t bear the daylight
when you hadn’t heard her laugh
when she stopped enjoying reading
when she stopped taking bubble baths

“How did you not see the signs?”

when you saw her wearing the uniform
her hair               unwashed
her cheeks          hollow
her voice             soulless
her clothes          dirty
her nails              unpainted
her skin               ashen
her weight          dropping
her eyes              empty

“How did you not see the signs?”

when she shot up with a stranger in a pub toilet
when she stood in front of a speeding car
when she tried to drown
when she tried to gouge her eyes out
when she was tied down
when she was locked in a padded room
when she flinched at your touch
when she begged you to leave
when she begged you to stay

“How did you not see the signs?”

when she stood in front of you
and cried
and said
“I just want to die.”

“How did you not see the signs?”

when people asked you
how she’s doing
and you’d reply
“She’s good, she’s great, she’s fine!”
when you didn’t even know for sure
if she was still alive

“How did you not see the signs?”

when she stopped eating
when she stopped speaking
when she stopped sleeping

“How did you not see the signs?”

when she stopped living
when she stopped being
when she stopped existing

“How did you not see the signs?”

“Honestly, there were no signs. I had no idea she was so sad. If only she’d said or done something.”


© 2019 HLR

HLR is a 20-something writer of creative non-fiction, mainly short prose and poetry. She writes about challenging subjects such as mental illness, addiction, suicide and grief with brutal honesty and sardonic British droll. Her gritty confessional style has been acquired through years of mental angst and too much time spent in the pub. HLR was born and raised in north London, and is yet to escape. A list of previous publications can be found here. Read more at Treacle Heart.

8 Comments Add yours

  1. Kindra M. Austin says:

    Reblogged this on Kindra M. Austin and commented:

    Today on HL&M, HLR ❤

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Reblogged this on Brave & Reckless and commented:

    HLR on Heretics, Lovers, and Madmen

    Liked by 2 people

  3. So beautifully captured and so crushing. . .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. bobcabkings says:

    Reblogged this on cabbagesandkings524 and commented:
    At Heretics, Lovers, And Madmen, HLR asks, “How did you not see the signs?”

    Liked by 2 people

  5. tara caribou says:

    oh! My heart!!! This is beautiful and perfect.

    Liked by 3 people

  6. Sometimes they don’t see the signs because they don’t want to see the signs. Even when its plain to see to everyone and anyone else looking at the situation those close won’t see the signs because they don’t want to and because it will mean they have to question they’re own behaviour. Egos will be dented and some will go to any lengths even murder to protect their egos

    Like

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