9 Things I Did After You Left



I ripped up everything that would remind me of you. Buried it in ashes under a flame of fire; watched it burn while I did the washing up, and expected my heart to understand the reasons why.


I heaved off the stones that you put on my chest when it got too heavy for you. I gradually removed each and every burden from my shoulders that was once yours; I stopped sharing your grief and snatched back all the power I gave you over my emotions.


I started talking to more people, open-minded, I started to explore a world I couldn’t see at two a.m. when you’d strapped me down, devoid of hope with a letter saying you’re sorry you can’t do this anymore. I ate food that didn’t taste like the words you fed me when every single thing was my fault.


I can smell your sadness from a mile away but this time when I pass you in the street, I won’t call out your name and I won’t walk beside you to the bottle of pills. I won’t let you kill me with your addiction, I will not be tempted to fall under the trap of believing that you could ever forget for me.


I learnt a new language and I went shopping and bought myself a jumper the other day. It didn’t have your name on it and I didn’t learn how to say I’m sorry in Spanish or Italian or French or Arabic.


I shared my feelings with someone new. I found myself comparing everything about them with you but I ignored the sixth sense I’ve named your name that follows me like a perfume of air.


I accepted that nothing I do will ever make me forget you and that despite everything when I’m at my worst I’ll want to phone you or turn up at your door with chocolate and ask you to bandage my heart. But I know now that you have your own grief and I have mine. They cannot be intertwined. We are both shipwrecks and we cannot heal one another.


And that’s why you walked away. It took me longer to understand. But I know now.


I apologized for you mistakes. And I never stopped.