Cleaning up the mess you left.

When you left without a word, I thought it was my destiny. For someone who obsesses a lot on goodbyes, it felt like it was what I deserved – a no goodbye leaving. Thinking this, I quickly locked your room without giving a second glance. I had no energy to look at the mess you’d created, the papers on the floor, the clothes on the bed, the broken pieces of my heart all over.

For as long as I could, I went on with my life as if nothing happened. Nobody knew about us to begin with, we were the secret stories our friends hushed over the movie. So it wasn’t that hard. I even carried on sitting across the table from you in the cafeteria and pretended not to notice your occasional glances.

“Are you okay?” you once cornered in the corridor to ask.
“Why do you ask?” I questioned you instead.
“Just…”
“I have never been better,” I cut you off and walked away, holding myself together more than ever.

I read a lot during that time. About men. About women. About relationships that lasted and the ones that never did. I also read about heartbreaks. About being strong. About not letting the ones who walked away to have the power to control you. I read books. I read articles. I read poems like my life depended on it. And each of them told me to be strong, to realize that people come and go, what matters is me.

So, every time you sat across me in the cafeteria, or beside me during the lectures, or in the same group as me for an assignment, I recited the stories and the poems to myself again and again so as not to open up to you. Not to let the comfort of your warm body melt me. Not to let you take a peek of my milky skin longing for your touch or how dry my mouth has been, thirsty for the taste of your lips. It took everything in me to not to let you see how much you hurt me. That if you must or by chance you did see me hurting with anger and sadness, I wanted you to see it wasn’t because of you but the homesickness I always felt once in a while when the tides are fuller or because of my unconceived child slowly leaving my body or because someone, somewhere was hurting and I couldn’t do anything about it.

Of course I slipped, like any human does. There were times when I got drunk and kissed you or if I remember correctly, I became so ruthless that you left the party without a word, a goodbye. Or that one time, when I refused to even say hello. Otherwise, I was good at pretending to be just fine. I remember how quickly we went back to become the perfect lab partners we were a year ago. I went on as if you and I never happened; like as if you never mattered that much.

But today, I decided to open up the room you left in hurry. There are spider webs all over the wall and layers of dust everywhere.Today, I told myself I am ready to clean the mess you left. I am ready to flood the room with my tears if they hadn’t dried up already after being held in every time they’d wanted to rain before. Today, I collect the pieces you left scattered and today, I want to put everything together. Some pieces still have sharp edges, the memories pinch me as if it was just yesterday, like our kiss under the full moon. And by deciding to finally mourn for the heart you left broken, I hope that I am on my way to healing, that I will be able to finally let go of your grasp, fully.

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