He leaves you breathless every single time.

Snatches your breath like asthma squeezing your trachea.

Every conversation leaves you drained and gasping for air.

Every visit leaves you choking like you’ve been poisoned by carbon monoxide.

In your mind, you can change him.

You can help him grow; make him better, soften that heart of his.

You think you’re special enough to heal all the damage.

You keep trying.

Trying to pluck all the roses even though the thorns cut into your flesh and make you bleed.

You pretend nothing hurts, wear a brave face, tell yourself it gets better.

Magnify every sign of progress and ignore all setbacks.

You tell yourself that because the car’s started, you’re going to complete the journey.

You tell everyone you’re happy and he’s doing great; he doesn’t hit you anymore, doesn’t call you names, treats you like a woman

should be treated.

You’ll never get out. Trapped. Suffocated by your sick love.

You’ll choke yourself.

And it’ll be too late.

He’ll never change.

Leopards never lose their spots.

His heart stopped beating eons ago.