Just a sharp scratch.
He didn’t cheat on you.
No, he really didn’t.
I won’t do it again, I promise.
It will hurt less over time.
Time heals everything.
We’ll spend the rest of our lives together.
And I’ll look after you tonight.
I’ll only have one drink.
Of course I’d never do anything to hurt you.
You’re my whole world.
I can’t imagine life without you.
This is the hardest bit, right now.
Crying will make you feel better.
it gets easier as you get older.
I love you.
Apparently, I burn bridges
or maybe it was a wayward spark,
from you burning our candle at both ends.
It wouldn’t have taken much, to raze the dilapidated, crumbling scaffolding.
Not the once strong, steady, immovable Pont du Gard.
A bridge is no longer of use, when the destination is a person you no longer recognise.
A faceless friend,
a stranger in a crowd,
an unhappy hostage.
So maybe burning it was my only option.
Save up what little was left of my sanity; cut and run.
You say I no longer light up your sky,
but maybe my light was never yours to possess and claim as your own.
Maybe what burnt that bridge, was a flicker of my fire you could no longer control.
Well, I gathered up all the remaining timber,
anything I could salvage from the blaze,
and I built myself a fucking ladder
to pull myself out of the twisted ravine you left me in.
And now I’m up high, on a cliff top
and the view and the air is clear,
and now it all makes sense.
You always said you’d eventually learn how to dance with me, but you always had an excuse. You just didn’t care for the things I was passionate about. Red flag number 10.
You never cared for, or tried to understand, my love of Taylor Swift. I know that might sound petty. But it was important to me, and you openly mocked it. Red flag number 9.
You said you didn’t like tattoos, but you would make exceptions for my small ones. Well, now I have a big one. So fuck you. Red flag number 8.
We had similar tastes in music, but only when it came to folk and country. Anything else and I felt I had to filter my music choice around you. Because it was “too mainstream”. You always took the high ground when it came to music. Red flag number 7.
Your political views were the right ones, and no amount of debating would tell you otherwise. You took the high horse there too. Red flag number 6.
I was terrified of doing my pre-flight injections by myself, so I offered to pay for your megabus and the additional cost of the flight, for you to fly from Heathrow with me. To support me. But you outright refused. Red flag number 5.
You could never have a healthy disagreement. You’d bury your head in the sand at the first sign of conflict. Sweep it under the carpet. Until it blew up in our faces. Red flag number 4.
You made empty promises. The main one being that you’d always support me, no matter what. Red flag number 3.
One night, after weeks of my mental health rapidly declining, you said you’d rather go out and get drunk with another girl than come home to me. Red flag number 2.
You cheated on your girlfriend of four years to be with me.
Red flag number 1.
Last November, I would walk down the beach
and populate my instagram with beautiful pictures of the sunsets,
all whilst crying, behind the lens.
You saw sunsets,
I saw a blur of oranges and pinks through tear-stained eyes
I would walk the beach, and mourn for what I’d lost.
My relationship, my friends, my career, my life that I knew.
I would watch the waves and sob behind unnecessary sunglasses.
My life had been up-ended in a way I never wanted to admit.
But the beach was my safe place, to cry.
I’ve just been for another walk down the beach,
a year and a bit on,
and took almost identical sunset photos for my instagram.
But I wasn’t crying behind the lens this time.
Instead, I sent you a voice note,
and over the washing of the waves and the calling of the seagulls,
I told you,
I can’t wait to bring you here and to watch the sunset together,
and maybe I’ll make you dance with me on the sand.
The beach is a pilgrimage for me; a checkpoint.
A chance to take stock, to literally bring things home.
This year, I take stock
and I’m happy with my lot ❤
There will be plays you will see, poems you will read, sandwiches you will eat, new friends you will make, new dance moves you will learn. There will be hugs, and there will be kisses that stop time. There will be cups of tea on a balcony with a beautiful view of the sunset. There will be sunrises. There will be holding hands, running through the rain, sheltering under trees, and more kissing. There will be music you haven’t heard yet, that doesn’t even exist yet, that will move you to tears, or become your new favourite track to dance to. There will be weddings, your own included. There will be swimming in a clear blue sea. There will be cold, crisp glasses of New Zealand Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc, on hazy summers evenings. There will be dogs to pet. Films to laugh at. New mountains to climb. There will be warm cosy jumpers and mulled wine at Christmas. There will be a time you see your big sister again. There will be new books to read, that will take you on new adventures from the comfort of your bedroom. There will be more answers than questions. There will be poetry that flows out of you. There will be ceilidhs, and so much dancing. There will be gigs so incredible you lose your voice from screaming the words so loud. There will be new tunes to learn, and to pass on. There will be late nights you never want to end. There will be early morning runs that enrich your soul. There will be new songs to sing.
There will be a time when you no longer remember how bad it got.
I really can’t put Sunday into words. I finally did it! I completed a marathon for the first time in my life. And not just that but the London Marathon! After about a decade of watching the full coverage on TV and always saying “I could never do that!” I fucking did it! Yes, I was slow, but I didn’t stop running once. And I’m proud of that.
The crowd support was like nothing I have every experienced. Strangers shouting my name, cheering me on, telling me I’m “magnificent” or “a legend”. It almost brought me to tears at one point.
High point – overtaking a rhino
Low point – being overtaken by a submarine
The Mind cheering stations were the best, I just felt a connection to the cause and it felt amazing.
Little kids smiling and shouting your name. Strangers actually smiling at you and holding eye contact for a brief second whilst cheering you on. It made it all worth it.
And seeing my sister (the last time I will see her before she leaves to start her new life abroad – I sobbed into my girlfriend’s shoulder when I finally said goodbye), my girlfriend, my best friend and my Mum at the finish line ♥ AND I didn’t feel like I was going to collapse after I’d finished. I had my beer and chocolate and felt fucking triumphant!
The pain the next day – it was agony, but it felt like a trophy, like I’d truly earnt it. And I bloody had. I couldn’t be happier with myself ♥
I FUCKING DID IT!
i had to ask for it
i had to spell it out to you
because you’d forgotten, like you do
all the hell you put me through
i had to spell it out
this is what you did to me
and was i supposed to accept that gratefully?
and let you off, so deservedly?
what i lost when i lost you
was so much more than just a relationship
i was a sinking battleship
already losing my grip
no, you didn’t recognise the full impact
that final straw, turned to one almighty blow
i was freefalling, but imperceptibly slow
no parachute, or safety net, into the ground below
does it really count as an apology
if i had to ask for it first?
if you were coerced?
for everything you said sounded performative and rehearsed
you say you’ve changed now
that you don’t do that anymore
don’t go back on words you swore
and isn’t she lucky, the girl you now call yours?
well, i don’t accept your apology
but i’ll pretend i do with grace
i’d rather you’d left me unanswered
but i’ll let you save your face.
i don’t relate to you anymore.
i used to think we were always on the same page
reading from the same hymn sheet
but that was back in the day
i don’t relate to you,
and that’s not to say i think i’m better than you
the days before we started unravelling
i’m well aware of the shitty things i did too
i don’t relate to you,
because i could never promise someone a life together in one breath,
and then do a full one-eighty
and claim it was for my mental health
i don’t relate to you,
because i’d never lie to hide my feelings
the ones you were too afraid
to just deal with
i don’t relate to you,
because i’d never put someone in the position you put me in
and say it was for my own good
i’d never be that fucking mean
and it’s a shame,
because for almost four years you were the only one i could relate to,
i guess it’s true that people change
and i guess i’ve outgrown you.
no, i don’t relate to you, anymore.
CTRL + H
reveals an awful lot.
oh, how i wish i’d known.
what to do.
but at 18,
i’ve done my research now.
five years on a register, minimum.
but you took more than just my innocence that night,
held it captive to a loaded gun
locked and ready, with screams of
“you are not good enough”
“you are the one who’s not right”
got away with your dignity and reputation too.
and where was mine?
left in tattered pieces, torn polaroids
of what used to be
me and you.
you left with no idea of what damage you’d inflicted
and i’m still 18
and sat on your bed in the dark,
still staring at the screen.
10 years on.
but it’s not too late to have you convicted.
you think you’ve got away with what you’ve done,
what you did,
what you excused away.
but i still remember that night
and the next day.
returning home to uni halls
broken, grey, defeated.
not telling a soul
well, not until recently,
so how much did you really get away with?
a phone blinking in gloomy bedroom lights
a google search history, and a site
for sore eyes
that morning where the coffee i made him went cold
when i told him to go
and another morning
where he said he didn’t want coffee at all
and i broke down crying; this isn’t a discussion anymore
holding his hair back whilst he was sick
after taking too many drugs, again
the smell of cigarettes on his mouth
and his lips
guitar melodies that used to be just for my ears
well i guess she hears
them now too
and a gut feeling,
that i knew it was all wrong
for a long time
but i still clung on
fingertips leaving reluctant fingertips
in the departure gate
turning back one final time to watch him go
and with each step,
sealed our fates
his to move on.
like him before.
and for me to remain.
within the lonely tales of folklore.