I’m so exhausted now.
My fingers can hardly make their desperate crawl across the page. My brain feels weary; my bones feel weak.
12 months ago, we met with dancing eyes and an open ear.
365 days dripping ink in a spiral-bound leap across letters.
Emotional. Heated. Sensitive. Empathic.
Sentences upon chapters of words such as these. Of which only two ring true today: The End.
I knew in your first smile, the finale already written. We spoke, and I heard mountains. We walked with interwoven fingers and a mismatched pace.
Myself, scrambling to keep up.
Amid the peaks and the valleys, I learned the detriment of attraction. I blamed myself, mostly. My brokenness pulled you in.
These laws have no limits by romantic whirlwinds, nor in the fated encounters of soulmates.
The mirror applies universally.
What we both feared most, about me, was my truth.
As I try to make sense of it, even in the tornado still, bits and pieces circulate. Objects flying, a mayhem of colors and textures.
Tires treading over used needles. Shimmering screens and a glittering bridge.
A routine of movements too practiced to be perfect.
The foggy dawn peeking around a golden hill.
My thoughts have racked through every possible meaning. I ran a marathon of reasons before collapsing, five seconds from nowhere.
Now that you’re gone, I expected to feel better. I thought I would spring back like a sponge. I never imagined I would lie, withered and dry, scratchy edge in a kitchen sink.
I cleaned every one of your dishes until I had nothing left. I poured rotting residue down a silky drain, even as we both openly ignored what doing so meant for the both of us.
It was the pop of that last green bubble which pushed me over the edge.
Water coming down for days. I cried out all of your tears.
My eyes washed away each of your layers. This skin was never mine to don.
In the buttery, iron taste of the aftermath, food will not fill me. A pill will not clear me of this, and sleep does not always lend itself to rest. The frothing surface of lingering promises shields the unknown sediment, sinking below. Every lie we tell ourselves haunts me, ripping apart my heart.
They tell me to keep smiling like their sense of worth depends upon it. Yet they hide from the reality that every smile has a twin frown, lying frozen on the floor.
They gladly lick off my tears, walking away with a spring in each step.
They leave me here, engines roaring past, and a ticking clock.
Amid these noises without and within, I, strangely, have no regrets.
I lay in bed for days, listening to the drop of rain and smelling the faintest hint of cinnamon.
Maybe tomorrow I will feel differently. Today, all I feel is the emptiness of having fought a battle I never knew I was a part of. The loneliness of the end, and the hope of goodbye.
As we part ways, I feel numb to past events.
Yet even still, I thank God for it happening. Because with every word written, I feel the seed deepen, within my breast.
You can take away my time, my energy, even my fleeting sense of self.
But you can never take my voice.
You can never have my heartbeat.
All along, I’ve been echoing the world’s question, How is this of benefit? Sleek distraction from what we’re all, really, too afraid to ask.
How is it not?
With every learning, there live equal parts unlearning.
And maybe the key doesn’t lie in the lessons after all.
Maybe the answer, rather, is the question being asked.
This piece was published on Rebelle Society.