He watches her from a safe distance. Waiting for her hurt to pass. The amount of her tears seem to match the pain she was feeling today. He studied her face as it winced in pain. Her shoulders in a ball. Her eyelids in a vice, fighting each tear as it squeezes out. Her chest working hard against the sobs. He didn't know if she was struggling to breathe or if she wished she didn't have to anymore.
He sat vigilant as her body melted in the chair, listened for the deep exhale, the giant sigh of exhaustion. The straining seemed to be over. Her body relaxes a little. The crying sounds have faded. Her chin and neck release upward and her head falls to rest on the back of her favorite chair. Her eyes are closed. Her body and mind seem to have made it through this wave of it's own form of labor pain.
This is her cyclical struggle of unhappiness. The fight to be happy. The letting go of the things that will never happen. The shame of feeling sorry for herself. The regret for not trying. The realization anger that life REALLY ISN'T what she thought it would be. Judging herself harshly about everything. She sees a failure. He sees endless potential which pisses her off even more.
He looks at her face. It appears peaceful for just a moment as if she has fallen asleep. He wished she would. Sleep avoids her but she refuses to look for it anyway. Then, just as he is about to speak and to say the words he's practiced while her wave of misery is in high tide, he sees her pain isn't over. The tears leak out. Her lips grow tight and form a harsh line. He hears her sharp intake of breath and he knows she's gone again. He's lost her. She's on her way to fight another round. He sits back and watches. Helpless.