Pray for me

I always know when someone is praying for me. My breathing is no longer short gusts of air and though the demons don't go away, I feel a certain kind of calm. Like I am no longer alone. Someone somewhere is holding my hands in a soft grip.

I will pray for you. She would always say it whenever I told her how I was still stuck to the skin of dead parents. I will pray for you. It was how we became more than friends. In those days, we would sit on the stairs of the university’s medical complex. And she would tell me about the many men that had seen her as a highway leading to pleasure. In those days, we would speak about God like an answer. I will pray for you was the best reply to questions we could not solve. And that was how we grew into each other. Woven into our pains and burdens till all we cared about was just one thing. Ourselves.

These days, I think of her a lot. Especially on nights when the world dangles by a thread. Pray for me. I don’t say it too loud. But I wish she hears me. This is how lovers are made: when two people begin to pray to each other. Their names are marked on each other’s tongue and it becomes the first sound that escapes when the universe gets dark. These days, I say her name before I sleep. Like a whisper and a lullaby, I allow her name to lead me by the hand to dreams of us and what we are.

By morning, the night is over. And I know she heard my prayers.

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