I bet you missed me when I went away. “You’ll come back,” you thought. When I didn’t you bit your lip, but was sure I would make it with time. After the next day, and the day after that, the doubts started to creep in. You caught yourself sucking in a painful breath whenever you saw something of mine lying around. Bits of my life left with you would slither into your sight when you least expected it the same way the memories would swamp you if given the slightest chance.
When days turned into a week, you entered into a hush drunk state: eyes bleary and sore from holding back any semblance of emotion. You were quiet, but not calm. Your hands became tumultuous storms when you'd glance over at our picture, fingers becoming tidal waves as you would toss it onto the bed. You were tired, but not nearly tired enough to forget.
On its own, you would find your body shaking at the brush of your own fingers across your skin, a reminder of where I touched you last. And then you couldn’t stop yourself. You were tracing every faded trail I ever left on you. Frantic touches. Not the kind lovers share, but touches desperate with need to assure yourself it had been real. As the sensations fall short, you realize nothing you can do could compare. My fingerprints grow fainter. The empty room eats you alive.
Part of you did not give up hope; it clung to your bones, digging its claws deep into the marrow, scarring you. My presence became a ghost. You began to see me at every turn, twirling my hair as I sat on the couch and folding paper on the kitchen floor. You would find yourself littered with paper cuts and memories you kept wishing you could erase. Nothing is the same for you as you try to pluck the hope from you.
Someday, you promise yourself, this won’t happen. Someday, when you find my cereal in the back of your cupboard, your heart wouldn’t stop. Someday if you came across my socks under a pile of dirty laundry, your hands wouldn’t stall. Someday, maybe, someday you would finally get around to throwing away the rest of me. But for now, you’re bitter. For now, you cradle the nonsensical song I used to hum. For now, you still whimper when my alarm clock blares. You rip it from the wall and throw it across the room wishing it would break into a million pieces. Wishing I hadn’t broken you. But I did. I did and it wasn’t fair. But you know I fight dirty.