she doesn’t come wrapped in bows boldly standing at your doorstep–she creeps into your thoughts unannounced and ready to test your loyalty to the image of her you have tried hard to forget.
she carries herself well–bust intact and perfectly pressed into a pushup bra, eyebrows threaded without a flaw. she blows her honeyed breath in my direction, flashes a brief smile–I catch her pearly whites before blinking.
I want to place my hands in places not meant for prayer. I stand unsure of where to go when she is near. should I carve a path? should I move my mark?
she is a mystery to me–showing me what I could have, but keeping me at arm’s length. I have all these inches yet I yearn for a mile.
I am a patient person . . . I whisper to myself. I am a patient person.
I haven’t gone a full day without crying since your death. Some days, I think, “This could be the day. A full day with no tears”, and then I hear, smell, see, or remember something that has you all over it, and I begin to puddle. Triggers . . . I hate to dub them as harshly as I have, but that is what these things are . . . Triggers.
I haven’t been myself lately.
How can I be myself without you? I am writing more; fulfilling requests from interested people, doing what I said I always wanted to do. You have always been vocal about my writing and supported it undeniably.
The little things pump their way into my view, and I find myself trying to shun them without several blinks.
I don’t want to really see them. I don’t really need to. Do I?
After I lost the part-time gig, I waited a few months and sold my car. We discussed this. It was best for me, and at the time, financially fruitful I was not. You listened intently, knowing I’d do what I needed to in order to get back on track.
Four months later, I am at a place where breathing is easier and above water is where my head seems to rest. The Powers That Be saw fit to give me a raise, and I paid down two bills significantly. I set my eyes on another vehicle, purchased it, and blended my life into the interior of a compact Chevy I call, “Solo.”
I wanted you to know, but I couldn’t tell you. Not like before. There’s no actual way of getting the news to you, but I speak to the air. I whisper to the clouds. I pray that you will hear my faint-barely-holding-on statements to you when no one else is around.
We have had several windstorms — weird for this time of year. A tree toppled my neighbor’s car. I’d just moved mine to venture out to the store, and when I came back, she and her sons were outside assessing the damage. My jaw dropped, as I’d not had Solo a full four hours, and had I not left for the store when I did, I would have been outside, alongside her, shaking my damn head.
I prayed for her to have patience — for her to gain what she needs monetarily to get another car. I prayed for any emotional distress she will endure — for the will and fight to duke it out with her insurance company and our property manager.
I look at her deformed vehicle — and send a word of thanks to God for making sure she was not in it.
I come inside my quiet apartment, pat the dog on her head, give her a treat, and put the groceries away. It had been nineteen hours without one teardrop. I read an article and watch a commercial about a fellow artist who is taking her art to new levels and the tears begin.
Triggers. That is what these things are . . . Triggers.
The day of love approaches — savored lips flaunt in the midnight air — an enticing invitation for feelings swaddled in blankets too tight for release.
I have my ways, I know. You tell me this often, and I do hear you. I do. But I find my ways to be risky if I veer too far away from them — they’ll find me. They’ll seek me out.
And once I’ve been repurposed and re-homed, they will betray me. You have been my ruin for different shades of many moons — I want out.
I understand true love doesn’t sleep, but this feels like death — pre-meditated. I don’t remember signing up for this. *“You were light, but you were never my sun.”
I gave you a place at the table of my world — you sopped at every morsel, buried your woes at my feet. I welcomed the torment. I opened my door to the revolution and it struck me without warning.
I am burned by the light of a star.
Here . . . there are scars that refuse to heal. Here . . . there is pain that continues a cycle. Here . . . there is a heavy cross to bear.
I am broken from carrying it.
I wait for you — afraid that if I move forward in time with someone who walks on high heels and flashes deep dimples in my direction, I will fall and won’t be able to stand and steady myself in an upright position. She makes me weak.
And while the lovers of this realm ululate at the sight of a full moon on a day more special than your favorite sin, I will bite my tongue, don my adulting garb, and thank God for the new pair of balls I’ve grown.
I don’t believe in true love. I did believe in you.
My wild-haired love sits comfortably in our space. I stare at her — globes for eyes, a song for a heart . . . she gifts me life. I haven’t had to search for a love stronger than hers in thirteen years — a milestone.
No one can compete. No one can compare.
She is a constant reminder of all things good in this world, and I breathe fresher air when she is near.
The new year tiptoes into sight, carrying unknowns along beaten paths. I will bask in the peace that is the comfort of a lap dog’s patterned pants.
I am safe. I am free.
With family struck ill by an overgrown virus, my stomach is double-knotted as worry sinks itself into my veins. I am prayerful. I am hopeful. They will all survive.
But if death comes knocking again, I’ll plead with him to leave the babies alone. I may get my wish. I may not. But at least I’d state my case. At least he’ll know how I feel about his existence.
A day off from work to spend wisely with a four-legged gem who doesn’t need me to be anything more than I am is a present daring to be opened daily. I unwrap it knowing underneath its covering is and forever will be happiness . . .
And a look of captivation and admiration from an animal who doesn’t speak my language but understands everything I say.
*It is my hope and prayer each of you will be safe and connected in some way to family and love as you usher in a new year. May it be a happy and prosperous one. Peace and blessings.
I flinch every time I hear the word “honey” used as a term of endearment. You clung to it — it was one of your favorites. “Honey, this” and “Honey, that.” I damn near vomited from the overwhelming sweetness of its usage. We wandered separately for what felt like eons — casually loving others, then solemnly returning to what we’d built . . . what we’d taken a chance on designing. I was never too attached to the bigger things in life. Many have said we would fail — too different, they uttered. But we held on to the missage offered to one another that “opposites attract.”
I want my ring back . . . Selfish, yes? Of course, you’d think this. I’ve spent many nights watching you flirt with anyone who would lend you an ear and a free drink and I am almost sad to say, I should have had my eyes open wide enough. I should have been open to seeing you for who you really were.
I should have known who I really was.
Isn’t that the way of these types of things? You find yourself standing on a ground firm enough to hold your weight, yet you don’t really know if you won’t fall straight through to another dimension just as easily as you landed in the current one.
I’m rambling, I know. You hate that.
But, hear me out . . . Given our current situation, this day was bound to happen. I knew the moment the calls stopped. I further knew the day I packed my last bag and you followed me to the door, touched my right hand gently, pursed your lips, then backed away. The love we shared left us feeling vacant. Months before, unbeknownst to us, we were evicted. Pink-slipped and hurried along to make room for two more women who would find themselves in the same situation five years from now.
I knew you loved him. I ignored it. I knew you loved me. I held on to that. One was not greater than the other. And I thought it was. That was my mistake.
I settled into a loft — open layout, in a nicer neighborhood. The cat sadly meows in my direction daily — he misses you. You were his favorite even though he is mine. You come by weekly to be with him — to give him the attention he craves. To shower him with your scent. And it is hard for me to see you strutting around as fiercely as you do without being able to wrap you up in my arms and lean into your musk. I tame myself — a shrew, learning to do what is most important — to unlove you.
You tell me this man understands you — that he hears you when you speak. That you have everything you have ever wanted in a partner but he does not hold you. He lacks empathy. He is okay with having you away days on end — he doesn’t need you near him. I nod. I listen. I say that it’s still early and you have to grow together just as we did. I feign acceptance of your new relationship but I see it crumbling in the back of my mind.
You are a whole being. You think you are half. You don’t need anyone to complete you. But, you think you do. This is what ended us. This is why we’re here.
And we weren’t built for “I told you so” and I wouldn’t dare say it.
I tell myself the best part about us not being us anymore is learning who you are without me — it’s learning who I am without you.
Originally published in Intimately Intricate via Medium. Beautiful people, I wish you a happy holiday season for whatever it is you celebrate and that you’ll be safe, loved, connected, and secure. I am taking a short break and will be active again on Sunday, December 27, 2020. Peace and blessings.