Here I am, on the other side of everything we fought to get through. And here you aren’t.
Our love has sat on a dusty shelf for thousands of hours now, and whilst we both know the futility of reaching for a cloth to clean it with, the space remains occupied by our story.
How strange that the closeness which once seemed impenetrable should now seem unimaginable.
Your new life is in a home I’ll never visit, filled with furniture I’ll never see. But there amongst the books and trinkets, amidst the coffee cups and sheets, there are traces of me. Of us. An echo of laughter. An imprint of interlaced fingers. An unfinished argument. A chapter that never quite concluded.
Remnants of a past that cannot be a future but stubbornly seek out a place in the present.
I still remember the cold caress of the kitchen tiles that I lay on when you left me. You cannot forget the closed door that was forever bolted when you tried to come back.
We’d danced with a pain-laced love for too long, we’d cracked ourselves open too many times. There was nothing left to do but leave.
Yet, even the weakest flame will fight for its right to burn.
I am the tattoo that you thought to be temporary. The coming years would see your hands try to wash me off. But see how I stain you. See how I stay.
I am the warmth that you dare not seek comfort from, though you remember the solace so well. I am the stray breeze that comes to tease you on the forever days of stifling stillness.
I am the tenderest touch that you still feel brush against your face, the droplets of rain that you cannot dry from your skin.
How many dawns did we see too soon? Time hurtling forward to new days that we weren’t ready to greet, clinging to nights we were loathe to surrender. With each ray of sunlight came truths we couldn’t turn away from. They sought us out like prey.
We hid under covers, trying to stop the clocks and halt the hurt that we knew was waiting to flood in.
The future threw back so many warnings to us. We stacked them up like unread newspapers and unopened bills, not willing to heed their unwelcome words.
Our story is woven into the fabric of a life I’ve left behind. But sometimes pieces of the past fly forward, clawing through cobwebs, demanding to be seen once more.
There are nights when you visit my dreams uninvited, stealing my sleep with your smile. I see that image of you which I know so well, your head thrown back as laughter leaves your lips. The scent of you lingers. The sound of you stays.
We were tangled in addictions, and embedded in a turmoil that left a taste too bitter.
Our craving for each other was the catalyst for every reconciliation that would bring us back to the torment we swore to leave. The knowledge that the next hit could be fatal made every high even more poignant, but ever more potent.
Our too greedy hearts did not recognize their satiety, and always asked for more.
You are the history I keep locked deep inside of me. Safely stored in a vault, within a vault so that I might not ever accidentally, unintentionally open the sealed doors. The air cannot get into those vaults, so the contents will wither. And I will not move to bring them oxygen. I will not revive their agony.
The greatest love leaves the most devastating void when it departs. The hollowness haunts me at times. But our candle has burned too low, too long. A pool of spilt wax tears are all that remain. I have breathed out every memory, there are none left to exhale.
In another world, we are walking hand in hand, tumbling in the love that spins around us, leaving us breathless on a bed of invincibility.
In another world, we are dancing with abandon, letting the notes sweep through us as our bodies unite then separate, before we pull each other close again, unwilling to be apart for more than a few beats.
In another world, we are everything we ever knew we could be, rapturous in the love that is everything we always knew it would be.
But not this world.
Our symphony has stopped. The orchestra is finally done playing our piece.
Skylar Liberty Rose