“You will go on and meet someone else and I’ll just be a chapter in your tale, but for me, you were, you are and you always will be, the whole story.”

– Marian Keyes, The Other Side of the Story

“What a terrible mistake to let go of something wonderful for something real.”

– Miranda July, No One Belongs Here More Than You

she walked slowly without help, it wasn’t the first time she had gotten up, but it definitely seemed novel. the handrail seemed to strain under her desperate clutch.

everything expanded with the heat, including the sweat, her hair, and the time she spent thinking about him at night. the wooden floors. the venetian blinds. nothing grew smaller, everything swelled. her eyes in the rain.

this is torrential, the battle between the present and the past. the future hovers quietly, without a sound mostly, but when she takes her finger out from the dam, the noise is deafening. rocks against the pavement, toes against the water

she eats microwaved broccoli, slowly, drinking tea and knowing everything (not knowing anything at all). white blankets cover her legs. the sunlight leaked slowly in from the doors.

the night before, she dreamed about him

his hands, the way the hair on the back of his neck feels, the color of the soles of his feet
that morning she woke up, counting her breaths, the heat expanding against her knees.

the only thing she spends money on these days is containers, bags, boxes. she places them strategically albeit haphazardly around the room, catching the heat, catching the memories, catching the past, catching the words he didn’t write. she lied to herself. her silence lied for her. her silence expanded. she blamed the heat.
she tried hard to remember the emptiness. she held on. she has a bad habit of not letting go, so she had to replace him with something to hold onto but the emptier something is, the more yearning it has to be filled. it sucks something into it, and she watches helplessly as the vessel she kept hollow on purpose began to overflow. into the hundred bags around the room, onto the sagging floor, so many places, in every corner. it didn’t care about darkness or light. it kept filling until

she opened her mouth

nothing else could happen. there was no immediate need.
yet she opened her eyes

it all poured into her body through places she had forgotten to close

summer was visible, and she made a plan.

the slats of the pool lounge chair made red marks on their thighs

her fingers found his lips.

it wasn’t a love story, because the lukewarm champagne was too strong to offer any conclusive evidence.
it wasn’t a love story, because the sunlight makes you dream things that are not there
it wasn’t a love story, because skin on skin on skin will get you drunk, and you stay drunk, and you can’t get enough
it wasn’t a love story, because her fingers ran across places that she had already dreamt she’d touch

it wasn’t a love story. and she never lies.

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