He suspects; I know he suspects. Tanim learned the hard way early on that there are times when he cannot touch me, when he must speak gently or back off entirely and wait out the madness. Surely he wonders why, though he’d never demand an explanation. What story has he concocted to explain my broken mind and failing body? Is he willing to face every painful piece of evidence to put the truth together or does he deny what’s right in front of him in order to paint a less heartbreaking picture? I wouldn’t blame him if he did. Who wants to believe someone they love has been so irreparably damaged at the hands of another? Tanim tells me it doesn’t matter and I know that’s true, I know nothing I say could ever change his love for me, but that isn’t the point. The point is sometimes I can’t bear his presence, let alone his voice or touch, and he must make excuses for my defects. How else could he stand to stay at my side? I wish I knew how close to the truth he’s come but I could never ask. What if he’s right? And even if he has no idea, if his mind won’t allow the admission of such dark possibilities, I’d still have to confirm or deny his assumption. I’m not ready for him to know the truth. I’m not sure I ever will be. If I can’t even face my past, how can I expect Tanim to embrace it?