You still feel the sharp ache of a thousand needles piercing your heart, even when there are a thousand miles and roads and oceans between you and him. Even when 48 days without him turned into 72 and you’ve stopped counting because you know it would inevitably be countless. Yet, you let the familiar prick slowly and gradually spread into your heart, seemingly growing bigger each day and you wonder—is it ever possible to feel normal again? They say time heals all wounds, but what if that’s merely a myth spun out of desperation to ease a broken heart?
You begin to see the days that pass by in a certain colour, a certain taste, and a certain focus. Colour, because all you see is black, white and grey; when he left he took all the colours your world had along with him because you regarded him as your world. Taste, because life is bland now; he was all the flavours you never knew could make your life so full. And focus, because he was the focus of your life; the moment he walked away, your vision and mind became blur—of tears and of thoughts.
And even as you clamour to find yourself again by immersing yourself in whatever can take over your racing thoughts, even amidst busy streets and long bus rides, shopping bags and taxi crowds, vodka bottles and dancing bodies—even when your veins are laced with alcohol and your eyelids are drooping, vision clouded in drunken stupor—all you can think about is him.
While your heart aches amongst your futile attempts to preoccupy your mind, your brain never fails to travel back to where he is, where his heart is beating innocently with a clear conscience and you wonder—how cruel it is to leave you hurting alone, drowning in an ocean of loss and anguish, while he’s over there wherever he is and has the privilege to feel happiness.
And though your heart has ached for the 48 days, which turned to 72, which turned to being countless… It lives all those days ago, in the dust-clad staircase five thousand three hundred and twelve kilometers south-east with your head in his lap and his hands caressing your hair. Its heartbeat echoes through the walls of the deserted classroom he broke into, where the words he whispered to you will be a ghost in your ear for the rest of your life. It lingers in that corner on the beach where you danced and laughed and tickled each other, where nothing mattered in that moment because you were his and he was yours, which seemed unbelievable but it was true.
It’s also the wind blowing past that street where he sang to you for the first time, colour rushing to his cheeks despite the cool air. It’s a stain on the floor of the library, where he pressed your head against his chest so he could stroke your hair, and you heard his heartbeat for the first time. It’s the red and yellow seats of the national stadium, where you sat watching a random free parade you were uninterested in, just so you could enjoy each other’s company in the setting sun and wave glow-sticks in each other’s faces. It’s the-
It’s the memory of the past that you let continue to live in you. It’s the constant comparison between life with him and life after him.
It’s the crack on the wall of the library, where the chair you now sit next to is as cold as the lies he fed you. It’s the indie music you now listen to on the bus home; before, you listened to his calming voice on your voicemail reminding you to eat dinner. It’s the gravel on the pavement you always tripped over; there’s no warm, steady hand to catch you now. It’s the water dripping on the bottom of the stairwell you used to meet at. It’s the icy steel strings of the guitar you now refuse to touch, because he once did. It’s the steady pitter-patter of the rain on wooden boards feeding you inspiration as you wrote your first poem about him; now you write poems of blood and malice, of despair and death. It’s the same clock ticking 4:03am when you whispered sleepily that he’s played enough video games for the night; now you’re alone, accompanied by the spirit of what once was. It’s the droplets of crystal-clear rain trickling down the windowpane; now you see each drop that falls upon the grimy earth as promises he ruthlessly broke.
And because of the pain you always let seep into your heart, you let yourself believe that love equals pain. You stop believing in love because you let the past linger in you.
You stop believing in love.