I bend and break to the will of their demands, simply because I am so afraid that if I say no, they will leave me.
I glance in the mirror only to see sadness, yet know I am the only one who placed its presence upon my face. I am better than this, I tell myself, as I sob silently behind closed doors.
How did we get here, I ask myself for the hundredth time this year. How did the one before and the one before that not teach us what it was to be brave. To be alone.
I see the pictures, the replicas of our time spent together. The setup stands the same, but I have to focus my eyes a little to see that it is not my own figure that stands beside him now. It is another version of myself. A little younger. A little prettier. I have to steady my nerves, quell the gathering of tears that sit behind my now closed eyes. The ones that wish they could erase those images and the imaginary ones that they invoke. Of him and her playing out the roles that were once ours. Unwrapping the dreams that once belonged to us. The ones we would speak about in lengthy conversations that bled into the night.
It’s over, I say. Our time is done. The waiting, the constant waiting, for his return, has finally come to an end.
I try not to feel as though my heart might stop at any moment. That I did not waste four years to loving an illusion of a man who could never be all that he professed he might one day become. I try to accept it as the blessing wrapped in a jagged lesson that it was. He was my heart opener. He was my core work.
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