What do you do when doubt fills the air? …like a poisonous gas creeping through the crack between the floor boards and the door… Doubt destroys the air that holds the oxygen that is required by our bodies to live. Without clean air to breathe, we simply cannot exist. Doubt rolls into the air and suffocates those within its reach. Once doubt is in the air, it flexes its harsh muscles by contaminating the sacred oxygen that keeps the rhythm to the machine inside our chest alive. You ask me to love you, while you stand there stealing my air. I express my fears, and you pull me close and tell me to breathe out love. You, a thief that steals my pure, innocent air and replaces it with a venomous smoke that suffocates my lungs. How dare you beg me to trust you and yet mock me for loving you while you suck out every last breath from within me. I am not a resource for you to filter through, using what I value most to clean yourself of your dirtiness. You and your doubts, your brokenness, your fears; they rob me of what I long for most. You harden my sweet heart as you turn my lips blue. Love, you foolish man, is not something to toy with or to make a mockery of in this game of life. Be careful of how you treat a being that knows only of truth and acceptance. You become the murderer of a dream created by a young girl the first time she felt her heart beat inside of her chest. You tell me that you’re sorry, but that you do not love me any longer. And suddenly, like the moment the tide washes back out to the sea and leaves the sand exposed before rushing right back again, the air from within me…is gone. Like the final moments depicted in paramount cinemas of the flashback that occurs in those final seconds after the last breath seeps out of our motionless, dry lips and escapes our vessels, I see all the moments that made me love you. I see your hands holding the paint brush as we made small talk about pottery on that first date in dreary October. I see you staring into my eyes from across the sticky pub table on that cold night in November after the play about healing. I see the way you stood there in the body you didn’t quite seem to fit. I feel that sloppy, wet rain that drenched our clothes and hair on the night that I decided to give myself away to you. You asked me what I wanted to do on the night before I left and closed a tremendous chapter in my life. I couldn’t have written those final few pages any better, baby. And I am so thankful that I had you in that moment to hold the pen. To feel you kiss me and wrap your hands around me on the stairs of the Old Capitol while the rain fell on that cold night in December. I feel your eyes on me as I whispered ‘yes’ for the first time. And then suddenly like the slam of a book, doubt floods the air and the monitor goes blank.