There are questions we do not ask each other, out of fear or mercy or the simple understanding that some things should not be spoken of. When he trembles in the darkness I do not question what night terrors have clawed open old wounds and unburied dark memories. When he flinches from my touch I do not bid him tell me whose hands he thinks reach out to break him apart again, nor when his eyes turn from mine do I pry into what secrets he seeks to hide. These are his private burdens; if he chooses to suffer them alone I will not force him to do otherwise. And in his turn he never asks about the others, the ones before him that I knew for an hour or a night. He knows if he but demanded my history I would reveal them all: the cruel ones, the cold ones, the ones wounded and broken as myself. Surely he suspects how frequent were the mornings I woke with more hangover headache than coherent memory, longing for another drink or another pill, anything to numb myself again. Yet he does not ask and that is the sweetest kindness he could ever do me, for it would break my heart to reveal that shameful past. We may commit lies by omission but at least they are lies born from love. Some sorrows are not meant to be shared.

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