“You are nothing…”
This already feels like a nightmare
I heard a lot about her, but never from you. Her name is like a sacred chant to you, said only with a hushed voiced in fervor and with a higher state of awareness. It’s your secret, hers and yours, and I was never allowed into that small circle. I heard a lot about her from your friends, in their pregnant pauses whenever a reference to a memory is mentioned, or somewhere between their shared knowing-glances and inside jokes and I’ll just act like it is some foreign language to me. And then I’ll smile, abashedly. I guess I took the liberty of being ashamed for them.
In retrospect, you actually did ‘talk’ about her more than I cared to notice. She’s there, in the way you wanted the table to be set, how you don’t like a certain perfume that I wear, which songs to put on when it rains, your favorite tea, or even the way you lie down, they all have her trace, her approval, her preferences.
I snatched the tattered luggage tag still attached to it. California. It made me laugh, in a pained giggle at first until it grew into these maddening thunders of laughter. It filled the bare room, every nook and cranny that will no longer bask in your presence. California. I imagine you standing against the sun, with the blue sea as your background, your smiles reaching your eyes. I drowned the memory of your eyes with my own tears and it blurred your empty room away. It tried to blur the pain away, to no avail. I came crashing to the floor, with an orchestra of sobs, terrible, terrible sobs.
“You are nothing like her...,”
Under different circumstances, in another lifetime, those words brought me so much joy. But joy doesn’t exist in this moment, because in this moment I must pick myself up and drag my old moss green luggage and go. There is no space for me here. It’s yours, hers and yours, and nothing for me here.
A voice that once mine resounded from the past, “We’ll go back there. Just thinking about the sun brings you smile, doesn’t it?”
I looked back at the empty space. I didn't notice how big it was before. Her smile once adorned this place and her scent traveled every single crevice. This place is haunted and I didn't notice it before. I called out into the nothingness, “It doesn't matter now, right? I am nothing like her after all.” No one answered back. I closed the door.
|THE ROUND TABLE CHALLENGE|