My mother always told me I was born with four spines. They stay there, side by side, in my ramrod straight back, the reason for my very correct posture. So when my back began to arch, people noticed.
My parents were first. You look different, they would suppose as I would approach every morning for breakfast. Is something wrong? My mother would question. Are you ill? My father would ask.
I had a gift with the vague and I used it to my only advantage in this scenario. Because telling them the truth would be a lot more devastating. How would I tell them about the fact that my bones, my spine, the very part of me they admired most, was depreciating?
I suppose the trouble with most relationships is to trust someone, knowing that you would willingly lie to them, just to protect them from getting hurt. We all do it, and those of us who claim we don’t, only lie because their lies are smaller. I lied to protect them from what had happened to my bones. Not just my spine. All my bones.
The thing with bones are, they are on the inside of you and they grow in whatever direction they want. You do not have a say on it. Just like I didn’t have a say when I fell in love with you. You began to grow inside, quite like another, more twisted, less straight spine.
You were a sharp, painful object, made of something stronger than granite. All four of my spines were put to work dealing with you and they still weren’t enough. I took each one for granted, till there were none left. And when I had nothing left to break, you decided you needed something that wasn’t broken to start all over again.
Human bone is as strong as granite, my father had read out to me at the dining table. A block of bone the size of a matchbox can support nine tonnes-that is four times as much as concrete can support. He smiles as he tells me these facts, in a way that breaks my heart.
I can only imagine how difficult it was for you to crush the entire skeleton that was me.