4. Hold up.

I wrote this a few months back

Tomorrow should be our 4 year anniversary.
Four years since that night we lay on my bed,
hands barely touching,
baring all.

Hold up.

Maybe I should reframe of this. That’s what a therapist would do.

Four years since you cheated on your girlfriend of the time.
Four years since you were weak.
That kiss was you being weak.
Not owning up to how you truly felt about your then relationship, and instead letting it blow up.

Four years since you broke someone else’s heart.
I really hope she’s moved on now and has found someone who will show her more respect than you did.
I hope she’s happier now.
I hope tomorrow passes without her even thinking of you, because she’s managed to put it all behind her.

You were a coward. You still are.
You shy away from all emotions until it reaches breaking point and then you let it all blow up.
Without any warning.
I bet she didn’t see it coming either.
The way I didn’t.

You did exactly the same to me as you did to her.
You didn’t speak about your feelings, you actively lied about them, and then you threw a curveball out of nowhere.
Poor her. Poor me. Who’s next?

Was I always just a getaway car for you?
Was the magic exactly that – just an illusion?
A trick of the light,
sleight of hand.

I always look back on 13th January 2017 with such fondness – because I thought it was the start of something really special.

Maybe it’s time to take off the rose-tinted glasses?

heartfelt deception

i feel like i’m starting to move on,
slowly.
i don’t want to jump the gun.

but i think of you less.
and when i do it doesn’t hurt so much,
or send palpitations into my chest.

i see a picture of you now on facebook,
and i think the rose tinted glasses have been lifted, ever so slightly.
and instead i see a fully grown man
who still hasn’t learnt to be open with his emotions, and show sincerity.

and isn’t that sad?
that 4 years on you still handle your emotions the way you did with your ex, before me.
bury your feelings and hide from them,
until it reaches boiling point,
and it all gets thrown out to sea.

the pain in my chest has lifted,
ever so marginally.
that’s progress
and i’ll take that
gratefully.

because it’s taken a long six months to get here,
and i’m not even half way there yet,
not even close, nowhere near.

but i’ve put my foot on the path in the right direction,
and i feel like i’ve made a decision,
to get over,
move on from
such heartfelt deception.

A toast

On our final night together
in a little Italian restaurant we’d made our favourite,
we raised our glasses
and said
“to us”.

Just those two words.
That’s all either of us could manage
without crying in public.

But what we didn’t say was this;

To us.
To all that we were.
To all we could’ve been.
To every time we made each other laugh,
and to sweet Nepali tea.

To every cycling holiday
To all the memories we made,
To every happy polaroid
I pray that time won’t fade.

To every “I love you”
To every stolen glance,
to every morning coffee in bed, every debrief cup of tea,
and to every ceilidh dance.

To every adventure that we’ve had,
to every argument we’d right,
to every sweet guitar melody,
and to putting the world to order, late into the night.

To every birthday we made special,
to each and every kiss,
to every mistake we made,
it all came down to this.

So I hope you still remember us,
before we said adieu,
thanks for all the memories,
“to us, to me and to you”.

x

creativity #4

aching, the
body can feel it, the
crushing weight of your absence.
drought for the soul.
everything is
fine, i’ll say, i’m doing
good
how have you been?
i‘ll ask you
just to start a conversation. it’s more than
kind of sad, that we’ve gone from
lovers, to
messed up, to almost
nothing.
only we knew what we had, a
patient love, that grew
quietly, over time, like the confluence of two
rivers coalescing. they
say
time changes people, but i didn’t think it would change the course of
us, and now here i sit, staring
vacantly at the blank
wall, i’ll still finish my messages with an
x
you don’t. you’ve already
zoned out.

i hope you’ve learnt nothing

I hope this heartbreak has taught you nothing.

I hope, the next time you love, you love with all the reckless abandon that you did almost 4 years ago now.
I hope it doesn’t harden you.
I hope you remain soft, and open.
May your heart remain supple.
I hope it doesn’t diminish your capacity to trust another person with your dearest secrets and darkest memories.
I hope the old clich├ęs don’t play out – once bitten, twice shy.
I hope you remain bold in the face of love.
And still grab it with both hands, fiercely.
And fearlessly.
I hope you have learnt how to love someone deeply, and to accept a sincere love in return.
I hope you have learnt love is worth putting everything you have on the line for.
I hope you allow yourself to be loved again, even at the risk of it all not paying off again.
Because time spent wholeheartedly loving someone is time well spent, and not to be regretted.

I hope this heartbreak has taught you nothing at all.

no one saves you

No one saves you.
Not a boyfriend, or partner, or friend, or family member.
Or therapist.
Sure, they can help. Make you feel better for a short while.
But they don’t fix you.

No amount of love from someone else will amount to anything if you still hate yourself.
I’m not saying we all need to love ourselves.
We can’t.
It’s too much to ask.
But just being neutral would be nice.
Being forgiving.
Not hating ourselves for other people’s misdemeanors, and forgiving ourselves for our own.

Otherwise we’re searching constantly for someone else to say;
“YES! You are good enough!”
“YES! You have value!”
“YES! You are loved!”

But it doesn’t always go like that.

People leave.
People let you down.
Sometimes people just don’t know what to say.
And if you’re waiting for them to put your pieces back into place, you’ll crumble when they don’t.
And then it’s their fault.
But it’s not.
It’s nobody’s fault.
Let’s not assign more blame.

You’re just hurting.
From old wounds, re-opened.
The more you ignore it, the worse it will get.

You can exist outside of other people’s opinions of you.
You won’t suffocate.
And you won’t drown either.

things we used to say

We used to say
“I’m so in love with you”
and
“Would it be okay if I spent the rest of my life with you?”

We used to say
“I feel I can achieve anything with you by my side”
and
“You give me warm fuzzy feelings inside”.

We used to text each other
“Your eyes sparkle”, and
“I feel at home in your arms”
and
“I would trust you with my life in your wide open palms”.

We used to text each other
“I’m so proud of you”
“You give my life meaning”
and “you’re the love of my life, too”.

40 months, and 24 days later.

Now, we text each other, if we even text at all,
“I hope you’ve had a nice weekend”
and “sleep well”
and I wish I didn’t feel this small
without you.

polaroids

I just found a stack of polaroids, hidden in my bookcase. Of me and you. In Nepal. Walking the Marijuana Trail from Nargakot to Bhaktapur. You standing in front of a big golden Buddha in the background, smiling sleepily at the camera, squinting into the sun. And a black and white one of us sat on the floor of the airport in Kathmandu. Exhausted, but happy, and together.

And another set of photos from Towersey. Where we cooked on the trangia, and you exclaimed proudly “I’m a scientist now!” because you’d successfully lit the burner. Back when we wore whatever the fuck we wanted (Towersey mode, we used to call it); silk shirts and hippy pants, topi hats and bandanas, and glitter on our faces every day. Our little tent with our double air mattress, and our fairy lights and homemade bunting.

Back when we were still a team. Do you remember those times like I do? Do you miss us the way I miss us? Do you still think of me, the way I still think of you, the last thought before I go to sleep, and the first when I wake up? Do you?

Or have you moved on already? To somebody new? I don’t want to know actually.

Because I’m stuck.

I wish we’d never left Wales. I wish things were how they used to be. I wish I was still your best friend, your adventure buddy for life. I wonder, do you ever wish the same? Do you still wish things were more simple? Because right now, I feel sick to the stomach with grief.

Where did we go so wrong? It’s not “just how it’s meant to be”. What happened to us? When did I lose you for good?

Please tell me.

sad girl chronicles pt. 2: what if, for me, it’s always you?

(This piece of writing eventually evolved into the poem I posted a few weeks back – two paths)

I miss him. I miss you. I don’t know who I’m writing to anymore.
I’ve realised I’m burying a lot of it so the memories don’t hurt me. And I’m forgetting parts of you, but I don’t want to forget.

I don’t want to forget that first night we got together. The intensity of those feelings. The electricity between us. The static. The chemistry. How it all just fell into place. Kissing you felt so right, so natural.

I don’t want to forget the night you accidentally told me you loved me for the first time. You said something like – I don’t just love you for what you look like. And I said, what did you just say? And then you said it. And I said it too.

I don’t want to forget the sounds of you playing your guitar for me. You are one of the most talented and modest musicians I have ever known. And I’m glad you’re doing solo gigs now. I really hope that goes well for you.

I remember the time when I needed to change the gauze on my leg and I was in agony, and you sat by me and played for me to distract me.

I remember lying in the bath once, with a cup of tea, listening to you play, thinking “I’ve made it”, and “How did I ever get so lucky?”

How did I ever get so lucky?
And I ruined it.

Or did we just grow apart? Like you said, maybe it was never meant to be. But it really felt like it was. I could picture our wedding and our first child’s name. I could picture you playing them lullabies to sleep. And us taking them to folk festivals when they were older. And they’d be musical too, because we were.

Maybe I put you on a pedestal, but I think you deserved it. Maybe no one will ever quite live up to you. But that’s okay. Because for three and a half glorious years, you were mine. We were a team. Adventure buddies. And I will always treasure those years. No matter how many years go by now without seeing each other. Maybe some time in the future we’ll go years without even contacting each other. I dread those years to come.

No one will ever come close to what we were, what we had, and how we loved each other.

Maybe you’ve already started moving on. Maybe we’re already on different paths now. Maybe we were on different paths long before I knew it. Holding onto each other’s hands barely by the fingertips. But I didn’t realise. And I didn’t see the warning signs.

Now our paths have diverged. It’s not our story anymore. It’s mine, and it’s yours. But for almost four years, it was ours. And it was magic. We were solid gold.

I just miss my best friend. But I’m not sure he misses me in the same way. It’s always harder being the one on the receiving end of a break up. Being blind-sided by it. It hitting you like a tonne of bricks in the chest, every morning when you wake up and realise you’re alone again. A cold side of the bed next to you. And stuffed animals as some sort of childish replacement for human affection. It doesn’t help that one of them you sent me in the post for my birthday, after we’d broken up.

I live with my emotions close to the surface. I know that now. I feel things more acutely. And you don’t. You bury them. You always have. That’s how I know that you’re moving on just fine and I’m periodically crying my heart out into the pages of my diary.

I just wished you missed me the way I miss you.
I’ve been trying to distract myself, but no one compares to you. I’m worried no one will ever compare to us.
I’m worried I’ll spend my life wishing it was you I was sat across the table from, you who I was falling asleep next to, waking up next to, making cups of tea for, returning home from work to, kissing.
I’m worried I’ll spend my life with your name on the tip of my tongue, and images of you leaving me at Chiang Mai airport playing behind my eyes.

What if that feeling never goes?
What if, for me, it’s always going to be you?

two paths

we once walked the same path.
you and i.
for four years, almost.
the same well worn trail.
well-trodden.
well-loved.
tended to.
there were small flowers growing out of our footprints.
and moss slowly growing on fallen branches.
and ferns reaching for light in the dark of the undergrowth.

we used to hold hands as we walked.

i don’t think i even realised our paths had diverged until i was clinging onto your hand by my out-stretched arm and my fingertips.
and you weren’t reaching for mine anymore.
i looked up, and could barely see you through the thicket that had enveloped the gulf now between us.

i didn’t see the warning signs.
i didn’t see the cracks beneath our feet.
i didn’t notice you veering off on your own course to avoid a fallen tree.

“two roads diverged in a wood”

it is not our path anymore.
it is not our story anymore.
it’s yours.
and it’s mine.
two separate paths winding their own course through the forests.

but for four years it was ours.
and it was magic,
because the path we walked together was golden.