I’ve always been a person of extremes, never at one time loving anything half-heartedly. I’m not sure my past lovers can say the same of me though, I always left. I stirred passion like hurricanes into a coffee cup and on a Sunday morning, gave it to my lover for breakfast…and then when he felt the depth of my passion, like black coffee, course through his red blood, I left. I could not give it up. It was all I had in me; the ability to love so dangerously, it hurt. It hurt because, being an empath, it’s easy to recognize exactly how someone needs to be loved, what they say to simply fill the silence, what they mean when they laugh half-heartedly or even what they don’t say. They always felt understood and wanted. I didn’t. And it hurt because that is the woman they loved. The woman that I had been running from since I was 13. She always appeared when I loved, and they loved her. I could never stand it. I always left.
I did not leave my last lover though. I’m not sure he left either. It all happened too fast. One minute we were cordial, formal and cracking stiff jokes, then dusk fell and we started to exchange love letters. I wept some nights while I read his letters. He was such a hopeless romantic, the way he wrote. But also because he seemed genuine, the kind of person that really wanted to know me. But also, because I was not ready to bare my dark soul. Because, just like the girl before me who’d lasted a couple of months he said, I was not going to stay. I was too used to leaving. Because, just like his first kiss, he’d regret creating beautiful words for something that would not achieve ‘memorable’ as an adjective. But I continued to write, and waited for the day it’d end. I knew it’d come…but I wasn’t ready when it did. I waited a few days(the longest I’d waited was 2), a week, two weeks…then I started to break. I cursed and wrote bad poetry on March nights while either a glass of Harveys or badly brewed coffee sat next to my angry journal. I refused to cry. A body can shed only so much tears. Drown them in wine or sleep. Eat white chocolate and bathe warm water with a strawberry shower gel.
And then I was no longer angry. I put the letters in a black box, the one with old journals, unsent letters and Jane Eyre and Wuthering Heights. I visit it once a year, a sort of pilgrimage for my writing soul. Later that day, he appeared at my doorstep and asked if I was okay. I tasted of white wine and dark chocolate, I could have kissed him. I smelt of strawberries and sleep, I could have hugged him. But I folded my arms and nodded curtly then asked if he was. He said he was, and I don’t know why but I died a thousand deaths hearing it so I bid him farewell on his merry way. That was probably the third chapter in the book “How We Became Strangers”. And so today my best friend asked, “How is your February lover?”
I shrugged. “I don’t know.”
It doesn’t shock her anymore. She’s too used to it she stopped remembering names. They come and go. Or maybe, I come and go. Seasons. Poems with metaphors that have lost meaning. Songs that can no longer be called favorites but once were. But she did the honorable thing and asked, “What happened to him?”
And I wanted to tell her; “We talk about poetry and sunsets now, careful not to touch parts of each other we know so well. We are back to the first minute: cordial, formal and cracking stiff jokes…the few times we talk. We are familiar strangers who know a little bit more about each other than other strangers do…we call out a ‘hello’ as we pass by because there are questions we’d rather have no answers to. Like did the mail man deliver my last letter? He won’t be a man and I won’t be a woman, so we pretend there’s only as much to it as we see.”
But I looked at her and shrugged some more. “I don’t know.” And that could also be true.
Some lovers deserve to be immortalized, she wrote.
Jeez, I need to stop writing emotional stories😨. Comment and share😊