Twenty

“When you loved someone and had to let them go, there will always be that small part of yourself that whispers, “What was it that you wanted and why didn’t you fight for it?” ~ Shannon L. Adler, 300 Questions LDS Couples Should Ask Before Marriage

My phone vibrates to alert me that I received a text message.  I check, and it is another message from him. It is the tenth one.  This and the previous nine remain unanswered.

There was a time when the very thought of him made my heart beat faster, when the sun seemed to shine more brightly when he was around me, and when the nights would not feel so long because of him.

But now my mind is indifferent, and my heart no longer beats more quickly.  When I see his name come up on my phone screen, I sigh heavily.

My phone vibrates again.  Eleven messages.  Twelve.  Thirteen.

He let me go once.  He did not love me when my heart was beating only for him.  Fourteen.

He allowed the sun to go down on me, and for the darkness to drown me.  Fifteen.

I cried myself to sleep on countless lonely nights.  Sixteen.

He left me for dead in the vast sea of my loneliness.  Seventeen.  I brought myself back to life.  Eighteen.

The pain I felt because of him made me stronger.  Nineteen.

I learned to value myself and trust that in the end, no matter how much I lost, I was going to be ok.

My phone vibrates again.  Twenty unanswered text messages from him.

“Hi,” I finally text back.

The Mailbox

“The dead are never exactly seen by the living, but many people seem acutely aware of something changed around them. They speak of a chill in the air. The mates of the deceased wake from dreams and see a figure standing at the end of thier bed, or in a doorway, or boarding, phantomlike, a city bus.” ~ Alice Sebold, The Lovely Bones
Sanctuary of Zeus | Photo by TK

My friend M lives in a typical pre-war building here in New York. It is a building with a long history and a long roster of souls that have come and gone.

And some that have not left.

I visited her one afternoon. She lives on the first floor, adjacent to the front lobby, and just past the mail room. After she buzzed me in the front door that day, I walked down the long corridor towards her door. I passed the mail room and caught a glimpse from the corner of my eye a young woman bent down in front of the mailboxes. She was dressed in a long, white skirt and a dark top. I turned away, and then turned again to look back at the woman.

She had disappeared.

After a conversation with my friend and her building super, I learned the story of a woman who had died in the building. She was an elderly woman who had lived in the building since the first year the apartment building was erected. She was then a young woman who was engaged to a young soldier who was sent to Europe to fight in WWII.

It is said that her lover’s body was never found during the war. He was considered dead after they could not locate him after a mission he served in France. Accounts from other tenants in the building reported that the young woman never stopped hoping to receive word about her lover. She faithfully checked her mailbox every afternoon with the hopes of receiving some kind of correspondence regarding her one true love.

From what I saw that afternoon, she still waits.

True love never dies and waits forever.

The Beautiful Train

“I want to sleep, I want dreams to pull me from this world and make me forget. To stop the memories from swirling around me. To put an end to this ache that consumes me.” ~ Carrie Ryan, The Forest of Hands and Teeth

Photo by ♥N | 15 Jan 2011

She looked at the train with a new pair of eyes. She had never realized how beautiful the trains were. There was a beauty to how the trains carried people to their destinations. One place to another.

As she stood on the platform waiting for a train to arrive, she thought about where she really wanted to go. She surely did not want to be where she was, in Hades, burning from the acidic memories of a love gone awry. She wanted to be free. She didn’t even pray to feel good. She just didn’t want to feel anything at all.

She realized she had nowhere to go. She wanted to go where she knew her love would be, in a place called Elysium, but she had no ticket. The fare she paid was for a one-way ticket to Tartarus. Opposite ends of Gaia.

She heard the train coming. As the train drew closer, she saw the beauty of the train, and she wanted to kiss it. She wanted to wrap her body around the train.

“Maybe I can get to Elysium after all if I throw myself in front of the train. And even if I never make it there, at least I’ll be one step closer to Thanatos, and I will never have to feel anything at all.”

The train passed and she watched it leave the station. “That wasn’t the right train,” she thought.

She stands on the platform and waits for the train that will take her to where she really wants to be.

Change Your Skies

Two years, six days, four hours and twenty three minutes.

That was how long ago since he had left her. She left him, too, although he did not seem to be aware of it, because he was no longer there to see for himself. She left him when she went out on dates with other men. She left him whenever she went to the old places where they used to go. “See, I am here! Without you!” she imagined herself saying to him.

She wanted to tell him that she was no longer with him and that he wasn’t the only one who had left. She thought that by not staying by her phone and by not waiting for his call, that he would feel the loss of her.

She made trips across the ocean and visited places she knew he would never dream of going. She thought that by being anywhere except for where he expected her to be, that he would know that she was lost to him.

But in the two years, six days, four hours and twenty three minutes since he had left her, he never came back for her. She had hoped that he would, only to find that she had also gone. More than anything in the world, she wanted him to know the feeling of having been left.

After two years, six days, four hours, and twenty four minutes, she realized that she had never really left him. No matter how many times she thought she had left him and no matter how many places she had gone to leave him behind, she never really did leave, because she had always carried him with her.

“Those who cross the sea, change their skies, but not their souls.” ~ Horace

2 A.M. Texts

Catie fucked up his world again last night, and she didn’t even know it. All she did was text him “I miss you”. It was 2 a.m. She did miss him. What was so wrong about letting him know?

He didn’t sleep after he got her message. He stayed up all night, thinking about what it meant.

He decided to tell his best friend about it.

“Now I won’t be thinking about anything except that for the next month.”

“Did you respond to her text?”

“Yeah. I wrote ‘You have no idea.’ She didn’t answer back.”

“Well, maybe she does have no idea. I mean, well, you’ve seemed so happy with Melissa. How would she know?”

“It doesn’t matter how happy I am with anyone. Because it still isn’t Catie.”

No disguise can long conceal love where it is, nor feign it where it is not. ~ Francois De La Rochefoucauld