If I could hold back the rain, would you numb the pain? 'Cause I remember everything.
She wants to protect him, somewhere deep down. Maybe it's a sisterly sort of instinct. All she knows is that when he hurts, her reaction is eighty percent psychoanalysis, fifteen percent teasing, and the other five is something like empathy.
When he does something stupid, she lets him know without qualm that it is entirely his own fault he's in a jam and it's not her responsibility to clean up after him.
(She wants to fix everything, wants to wrap him up tight and shield him from terrible things, wants to make him clean where she is stained by that terror.)
If I could help you forget, would you take my regrets? 'Cause I remember everything.
Sometimes he can't stand to listen to her talk about the past. He gets sarcastic and tries to steer the conversation to any other topic. The topic usually ends up being him, and she says he's awfully self-absorbed. Truth is, he feels guilty as hell.
He never, ever talks about it. As if ignoring it will make it so it never happened. But it did, and the only way he can halfway cope is by bottling the memories away and moving on.
(He wishes he could bottle hers too. And then chuck the bottle into the river under her house and watch it plunge off the waterfall and drift far, far away from her.)
Oh, dear brother, just don't hate me, for never standing by you or being by your side.
When it gets really bad, she curls up in the middle of her bed and screams her throat raw. She clenches her eyes shut so she can't see her own body contort, though nothing will shut out the images in her mind.
If he ever saw her this way she thinks she might die. Which is why she turns him down every time he pretends to be joking about the two of them living together, the way Jade and John are.
Breaking his heart is the last thing she wants to do, and she thinks that it's a little less broken this way than it would be if he had to nurse her back to health, feeding her tea with honey through a straw and agonising about the blotchy bruises on her skin.
(She craves his touch at night and swallows the bitter lump of emotions each morning.)
Dear sister, please don't blame me; I only did what I thought was truly right.
On full moons or during thunderstorms, he'll stare at the sky without really seeing it, and think of her. Whether she would have turned out normal, under different circumstances. At the time he thought he was saving everyone, but these days it doesn't feel like he saved much of anything.
He'll wonder, when she goes silent for too long between messages, what she thinks of him. If she is as disgusted by his pathetic charade as he is. If she would ever forgive him for destroying their futures with his goddamn good intentions.
Her careful distance feels like an accusation, so he thinks not.
(He misses her so fiercely some days that he can't physically contain it and he retches ineffectually into the kitchen sink.)
It's a long and lonely road, when you know you walk alone
If we could start again, would that have changed the end?
We remember everything, everything.
Once they were the last humans in existence. Once they had nothing but each other to hold on to as their strange new world caved in around them. Now they pretend that he never abandoned her, and each in their own way they waste their hard-won lives away, that memory eating at the edges of their defences until they shatter together, miles apart.