If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the NOs on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
--Death Cab for Cutie
"You don't have to do it, you know," he said.
Her eyes returned to his. Just for a moment. "Do what?"
"Suffer alone. By yourself."
"Who says I'm suffering?"
"Some people have a darkness," he said. "They fight hard not to be alone. But no matter how hard they try, they can't shake the feeling."
"You think that's me?"
"Maybe I don't want to shake the feeling," she said.
"No way. You're not one of those people who wrap themselves safe and tight in their pain."
"So, are you one of the dark ones too?" she said.
"Yes. And no."
"I know the enemy well," he said. "I know how to pry him out of the dark."
"Really," she said.
This time the mineral strength in her eyes held him.
"You don't have to do it, you know," she said.
The usual tide of confidence in his mind stumbled. "I don't?"
"No," she said. "I know how deep it goes. Especially for you."
"What do you mean?"
"You've teamed up with your own enemy," she said. "But in the end, loneliness isn't a good companion. It always betrays you."
He thought for a moment.
His voice grew quiet. "You're right."
"I know," she said. "So here's what you do. Let me stand with you instead."
(Dedicated to the people who choose to stand with us and push back against the dark.)