I watch him hurting and I can’t fix it.
Sometimes I make it worse with a thoughtless comment or a passing throwaway that cuts him, I don’t even realise I have pierced his skin until I see the blood seeping quietly from the wound, until I see him backing slowly away from me. He retires to a corner to lick it, silently curled up into himself, I imagine an accusatory look being thrown my way from his periphery. There is nothing I can do to help, which is a different kind of hurt, a selfish kind maybe, I don’t know.
It will be fine, I know that. I just wish it was fine now, is all.