The hardest thing I had to learn is to have to unlearn you.
You were the one who taught me I exist beyond city walls; that there is life to be found in the nook of your breastbone, and that the only joy I’ll ever need is when I stargaze upon the constellation of freckles scattered across your spine.
You taught me breathing is not solely the simple act of taking in air and letting it out. It is inhaling the essence of you that escapes from your mouth when you sigh and letting it expand my lungs and the entirety of my very being until I learn to exhale a part of me, too.
But, perhaps, the greatest lesson I learned from you is that pain does not exist in one world. It exists in several multi-universes, and together they fell simultaneously – felt crashing all at once – when you closed the door behind you and decided to keep it shut.
You taught me there is life inside my own ribs and it is slowly dying, and that its death feels like thousands of splinters lodged in the cavities of my chest, grating against my internal organs.
You taught me pain exists in breathing, in the monotonic-trance of fiddling with the loose thread on my skirt – in the sunniness of the morning, in the loneliness of the night. It exists in the middle of a crowded room, and on the wet floor of a hot shower.
And somehow, even when you’re lethargically numb, pain still exists in emptiness. No matter how contradictory that may be.
The hardest thing you have ever taught me is that I am still alive.
That I can exist, with or without you in my life. And that, no matter what, this will always always hurt.
Teach me. Please.
Again and again and again.