I have this recurring memory of a rainy day.
The sky had darkened suddenly. Thick beads of water rained down from the darkness. It seemed to darken everything in it’s wake. You seemed troubled. Distant. Almost like you were trying to mirror the darkness of the clouds above. I tried to pry it out of you, the reason for your less than happy disposition but like always, you wouldn’t budge and dismissed my queries with an unsatisfactory ‘nothing’.
After the rain died down, we walked to the sandwich place. The clouds still hadn’t given way. Neither in the sky nor on your face. I sat down while you ordered. When you came and sat down next to me with your tray of food instead of taking the chair opposite to me like always, I felt my stomach tighten. I thought maybe I had done something. Maybe this was it. Maybe the reason for your detachment was that you wanted to end things. I held my breath waiting for the inevitable ‘talk’. But you put your forehead against mine, looked me in the eye, and said the words, “I love you, you are my home,” instead.
And just like that it didn’t matter what it was that you were going through or whether you wanted to tell me or not. It was enough for me to know I made it better. That I brought a sliver of sunshine to your life. That I was your haven.
You had told me you loved me more times than I could count, but I remember this one in particular because the honesty in your voice and the sincerity on your face permeated through me and settled in my bones. You really made me believe you meant each and every word you uttered.
But you didn’t, did you?
Because nobody wrecks their own home if they truly love it. Nobody breaks it down to splinters and then sets the broken pieces on fire. I watched parts of me chip away as I tried to hold on to you harder when all you did was push me away. I watched as the person I used to be, whole and complete, slowly developed a void within. A you-shaped hole in my universe.
So I lie here on floor staring at the ceiling. It has been a long time but the pain has remained consistently brutal. If the movies have an ounce of truth to them, this is how you deal with heartbreak. So I stare at ceiling waiting for it to happen. Waiting for divine intervention. Waiting for my broken soul to mend itself. But my brain concentrates on a singular thought.
I can only think of her. In your house. Walking the corridors I once did, filling them with her laughter. Sleeping on the sheets I once slept on, leaving traces of her scent. Breathing in the human that once used to call himself mine, wiping his memory clean of any remnants of me.
I wonder if you feed her the same lies you fed me. I wonder if you have told her she is your home. I wonder if you lock eyes with her and tell her you love her. Or if you really mean it this time around. My bones are anchored to the floor with the sadness I feel. I cannot seem to get up.
So I do not wish you happiness. I cannot wish you happiness, because it would be unfair. For you are the reason why I cannot pass by certain places anymore without feeling a tinge of pain. You are the reason why I cannot listen to certain songs anymore. You are the reason my mother sits halfway across the country fretting about me. You are reason why I lie awake at night questioning my own worth. You are the embodiment of every opportunity, dream, ambition I let slip away in the last year. You are the reason I walk around like I was a broken vase hastily stuck together with some tape and glue. Standing tall but with all the cracks and shoddy patchwork clearly visible.
You do not deserve to be whole either.
I was your home and you burned me to the ground. You broke my heart. And I might be unable to hate you for it.
But I do not wish you happiness.