I don’t know which is worse, the heartbreak or the silence that falls afterward.
Not the silence that comes before the tears fall, but the emptiness you feel when you’ve cried endlessly and there’s nothing left. The numbness that drips down your back and spreads through your body like electricity when you realize you don’t feel anything.
I followed your advice. I did all the right things in the right ways at the right time, yet here I am, hollow. You never offered me anything tangible for all of this hard work, just a promise of promise. You can achieve success, you can be the happiest version of you, you can find the deepest love, you can have every one of your dreams if you follow this perfect formula of specifically calculated steps.
I followed those steps, but they led me to more promise, more steps, more. And I kept going forward just like you wanted and I’m still moving toward a ghost of a chance at a perfect life. When I felt tired you told me to keep moving, keep playing the game because you have a good chance at winning. You knew all along I couldn’t win.
Sitting on the edge of his bed, he watched the sun fall behind the snow covered mountains through his small bedroom window. The room was lit by a single candle on the night stand to his right, where a torn paper seemed to glow under the deep black ink of the words, “I love you, I always will.” A drop of whiskey from his glass had spilled, smudging the word ‘always’.
I want to get out of this place. Out of this room, this house, this cold and heartless state. I’ve always been an outsider, weird, different. I never understood why I couldn’t fit in. I tried to mimic the ”normal” kids, but I never seemed to get it right. I didn’t mind, or maybe I didn’t notice; I thought my own company was more entertaining than talking about barbies and boys.
I never thought it would feel this way, not like this. I thought being in love was supposed to be warm and soft, beautiful and strong with bits of passion and laughter. I thought it would be smiles that last for days and warm kisses on the cheek on cold nights when the snow seemed endless as the chilled air bit at the delicate edges of my ears.
I thought it would be open arms and comforting words during times of self-doubt; encouragement when I didn’t feel I was enough. Maybe I’m too much of a romantic or maybe I dreamt a bit too big. I know it shouldn’t feel this way.
I realized it then, but I didn’t see it clearly enough to understand.
It was the way the sincerity in your words
had been lost, your focus shifted to everything else.
Truth is, I knew I hadn’t been on your mind for a while and I was holding my heart together with thin strings of hope that I knew weren’t strong enough to save me from the fall.
My eyes traced the rough edges of your hand as it rested on the edge of the window. Soft curls of smoke made the way you firmly held onto your cigarette seem out of place. You held me that way, once.
I missed you then, sitting there in your car. Now that the pain has settled into the cracks of my heart, it’s so clear. I was just another habit you wanted to break.
It was the silent moments with him that she loved the most. The bits of stolen time when the sounds of the afternoon lulled to a quiet hum and the fading daylight lit up the dust particles as they drifted slowly through the air.