Since You’ve Left All I Can Do Is Just Try To Breathe

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Andrew Dong / Unsplash

Thick white flakes of snow fall slowly. They stick to my window, and I see how different each and every one of them is. I turn around and see how empty my wall is without all of the pictures I had hung up of us. You in a suit and me in a beautiful blue dress. You as a child on a swing. You on my bed holding a cup of coffee. Us by the shore. And now all there is are nails buried deep into the foundations of my walls, hanging, holding nothing, just like the ones I feel in my chest with every single breath I take.

I hear the ticking of the clock in what feels like a distance. Tick tock, telling me time is passing. Tick tock, making me realize that I haven’t slept in two or maybe three days. Tick tock, making me angry and sad and frustrated and somewhat insane. Tick. Tock. Everything is screaming while it is so, so quiet, and everything feels so small and tight and narrow and cramped that I just can’t breathe.

My hands are numb. And my eyes. And I feel how dry and tense my skin is from my eyes to my chin, where my salty tears have dried slowly. And I wonder if I will ever feel my heart beating a regular pace again because all it knows is the rhythm of the song that we danced to. But I will never hear the song again, just like I will never feel your hand on the back of my head, as I am leaning into you, while we slowly sway in the living room, with Christmas songs playing in the background.

I always thought sadness and pain were the worst things you could feel.

But now that you are gone I realize that it’s emptiness and how numb my hands, and my face, and my lips feel that is far worse.

When I met you the whole world seemed to sing. It was a song I had never heard before but knew it would be all I would listen to forever. And now that you left, the whole world seems to cry And it’s a cry I can hear so clearly I am not sure if it’s my own or if it’s the snow that is carefully tapping on my window.

You threw away a year and a half, 17 months. You threw away 521 days of what I had always perceived as unconditional love and affection and understanding and romance and foreverness. The love that we shared made the Universe seem so small.

“I don’t want you anymore.”

I. Don’t want. You. Anymore.

I read it over and over and over again, trying to understand, trying to get a grasp of what is going on, trying to see the letters formed in the most hurtful goodbye I had ever imagined. But the tears blocked my sight, they made everything blur, just like the sudden pain in every single inch of my body seemed to blur the past, the present, and the future.

“I don’t want you anymore.”

It felt as though the butterflies, the butterflies I felt every time your name lit up my screen, every time I saw your face lighting up my phone, asking me to unlock it so I could hear your voice; your voice that was the soundtrack to my every day. The butterflies that I felt when I saw you in all your glory and happiness and light when you kissed me in the first rays of sunlight that fought through the thick grey clouds of the January sky. The butterflies I felt when we shared coffee in the morning, wrapped in blankets and pillows and light and love. And it felt as though these butterflies had declared war on my organs, fighting every piece of me.

“I don’t want you anymore.”

And my heart started beating so fast I could hear it in my throat.

“I don’t want you anymore.”

I could feel myself panicking from the mere glimpse of never holding your hand again.

“I don’t want you anymore.”

And now I sit in what feels like an empty space, trying to think, trying to feel, trying to live.

I sit and wait and wait and wait for an answer, a glance into your mind and your heart, trying to understand where it went wrong, where we went wrong, how I am wrong. I go back in time, a year, a month, three days, trying to find a moment where I didn’t see that we had changed.

I go back to the moment when we said goodbye at the train station, holding each other, crying, counting the days until we’d see each other again, holding hands, waving as your wagon made its way into the distance. It’s way into the distance and the unknown. I go back to the last morning we shared, waking up next to each other; I kissed your cheek and pulled the covers from you, you moaned and buried your face in the big white pillow; just like every morning, we woke up next to each other. I go back to Christmas, I go back only four weeks ago, when we sat next to the tree, just like a film, and gave each other beautiful gifts of time together. And how we laughed, and hugged, and kissed, and you held my hand and you smiled at me and I go back to every single time you smiled at me.

I go back to the way you looked at me every single time you laid your eyes on me. And I all I find is this love. The love that I thought would overcome anything. And I smile. And for only half a second I am back in your arms and I smell your skin and feel your lips on my forehead as you wrap your arms around me and pull me in as tight as you can.

And then I blink, and I stare back at the wall, the empty wall with the bare nails and I realize that the blue bubble on my screen destroyed every illusion of a future and I just try to breathe for now. TC mark

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