moving on

is it moving on?
or is it deflecting?
distracting?
and attaching
onto someone new.
or old.

is it moving on?
or is it burying?
ignoring?
so i don’t have to feel the pain, gnawing.

have i got tired of feeling upset?
or is it resilience?
have i become immune?
to the chronic emptiness?
have i just latched onto someone else as a coping mechanism, because it’s better to be wanted by someone,
than wanted by no one?

it’s not even been 4 months yet.
was last night too much?
did i take it too far?
what was i doing? what did i think i’d achieve? patching over my scars?

it’s done now.
moving on.

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.

the night we met

I wrote this several months back. Back when we were still together.

Take me back to the night we met.

We met a long time before that night.
But that night, I felt, was the first time
we properly saw each other.
Up until then, we’d kept it largely
platonic, sometimes suggestive, but
never too far. Nothing that would get you
into trouble.

But that night was different.
We both caught each other off-guard.
We didn’t have a screen, or snapchat filter,
or school email, or professional duties to hide
behind.

We were unfiltered.
Apparently you’d seen me first.
But I saw you when I came downstairs, you
were at the bar.
It was instinctive.
I went straight over to you without
hesitation and we hugged. Which I think
caught us both off-guard.

We were both wearing plaid shirts, and
we both made a comment that we had
coordinated outfits.
Then your friends came over and made the
same comment.

It was easy.
I was magnetically drawn to you, and it
was so clear and obvious.

I wish I could’ve stayed talking to you at
the bar all evening. But I had friends to
get back to, and so did you.

But we bumped into each other again that
night at the Wetherspoons. My eyes kept
trying to find you all evening.

You were like an island in the middle of
a shipwreck. I felt I was constantly
swimming against the tide, fighting to
keep my head above water.

But with you, I could breathe easy. It was
effortless.

So, I’m sorry that it hasn’t stayed that
way. You told me tonight that you miss
me. I’m right here, but I’m not. I’m not the
same anymore. For the first 6 month of us
being together, I didn’t think about my
past once. I was so happy. So content.

So, I thank you for that.

But slowly, it crept back in.
And I’m furious that something that
happened so long ago, is tearing apart
something so wonderful. It makes me
hate myself, for not being able to deal
with it and move on.

I wish none of it had ever happened.
But I can’t change that now.
No amount of wishing will ever undo.
What he did.
What I didn’t do.
What neither of us did.
And everything inbetween.

I had all and then most of you, some, and now none of you. Take me back to the night we met.”
– Lord Huron

I never thought I’d write those words about you.

i hope

Wishing for other people to be miserable won’t make me any happier.
But I’m nothing if not a trier.

I hope every time you look up and see a beautiful cloudy sky, or you watch a sunset, or you see a contrail streak across the blue – I hope you see me. There by your side, with my weather book, quickly looking up the classifications to check if I was right. Kissing you if I was. Kissing you anyway if I wasn’t.

I hope you can’t hear Taylor Swift without seeing me dance around our living room in your shirt and my underwear. I hope you see my face when you see hers. I hope you can never erase that image from your mind. I hope you have to skip the song or change the radio channel.

I hope going to the beach on stormy days brings back memories of Lyme Regis. I hope you taste Cornish Rattler and remember the night we skipped along the beach singing Coldplay to the stars. Amaretto burning on our tongues.

I hope every pair of blue eyes you gaze into pale in comparison to the ocean deep, golden-flecked, vast expanse of mine.

I hope you can’t see a pair of cowboy boots without thinking of the summers I spent never taking mine off. Summer dresses, skinny jeans, tight little skirts, nothing at all, always paired with my cowboy boots. I hope you remember the look of horror on my face as I hurled them across the room at you. One by one.

I hope you can’t go on a long run without remembering every run we had together. In the rain, side by side, stride for stride. Matching each other’s pace.

I hope you can’t watch i-robot, because it reminds you that it was playing in the background the night we both had sex for the first time. I hope you can’t unsee my i heart NY t-shirt, and the sight of my face as we came at the same time as each other.

I hope you do. Because I can’t unsee you too.

For me,
it’s plaid shirts and skinny jeans. Paolo Nutini songs and Dr Who references. The All-American Rejects and Adele. I still remember the gait of your walk, the flop of your boyband hair, the freckles on your shoulders constellations to me. Everything Everything’s first album. Then their second. The smell of your cologne.

It hurts, because I can’t unsee or undo any of it.
It’s on repeat in my head.
Like a broken cassette.
But the music is familiar,
and I’m not ready to stop listening just yet.

interlude / interruption

i watch teen romance
because i mourn the loss of an adolescence
i didn’t have
whilst i was busying trying to prove something
to somebody
i didn’t need
somebody who wasn’t good enough for me
even before i saw the contents of his laptop
is it possible to miss something you never had?
an idea of what might’ve been, but never quite was?
i miss awkwardly catching someone’s hand
and misplaced, mistimed kisses
hearts beating fast
first touches
drinking too much and making poor decisions
easy, naive heartache
clean breaks
with soft landings
not blood boiling, fists balled, skin crawling, retching fear.

there was a brief period at sixteen
an interlude
from mental illness
from the bird-cage where i was
hostage to compulsion
for too long

an interlude
where
for the blink of an eye
i was okay
i laughed, drank, flirted, played the sixteen year old
and as i climbed atop my pedestal
finally taking centre stage for the young protagonist i’d dreamt of whilst my brain had been wrapped in wires,
i fell
into your arms
and into the fire.

for a while i thought you’d saved me
oh knight in shining converse
but you’d done nothing more
than interrupt me
from saving myself

a 7 year interlude
of something i never deserved.

midnight phonecall in the distant future

he’s crying. it’s a number i don’t recognise because he’s changed phones and ignored me for so long.

i recognise his voice though, as soon as he starts talking through his sobs. he’s not exactly saying sorry. he’s mostly begging for forgiveness.

because after 14 years, it’s dawned on him. what he did. he’s wracked with guilt and he’s paranoid. he wants me to promise not to say anything.

he wants me to tell him he’s a good person.

i sigh. because i really. don’t. have the patience for it.

i got over it several years ago.
and i hang up.
without saying a word.