by Violet

It scares me that everything I write is for you. Even the truths I stole from other people, the ones that don’t recognise their own stories, every word was meant for your eyes only. I envision how you’d read them, your harsh yet accurate pronunciation, and what you might learn. I am still trying to tell you about us, even when you don’t want to listen anymore. I am still trying to reach you from this side of the river, because I forgot how to swim. I thought holding onto you would stop me from drowning, but you cut me loose when we began to sink faster. I am stuck here on this side of the river, trying to build bridges with a severed tongue and scattered words. I have disappeared from your thoughts completely and now the memories are fading too, taking the best bits of me with them, the bits that no one knew.

I can’t stop watching stand up comedy, filling up every second with empty laughs to pretend I still know how to be happy. I smile at every line, every lie, over and over, like none of it matters, none of it hurts. I keep the sharpest knife in the top drawer, and it talks to me sometimes, like an old friend. Sometimes it whispers, like it knows a secret. Sometimes it’s more tempting than taking another drink, but the scars mock me when history repeats itself, and there’s no escaping.

I keep waiting to be hit by a bus or maybe something will fall from the sky and put me out of my misery. I stopped looking when I cross the road in case I cheat death by accident and win more time to waste. I fell over in the shower when I closed my eyes and saw your face, your hands were wrapped around my throat, choking the last breath out of my lungs so I could find peace.

I threw your favourite mug at our kitchen floor and watched it crumble to pieces like our lives, lives that we were no longer sharing. I couldn’t break your heart as well as your broke mine so I peeled off your mask and laughed at the voices you had been hiding. I hated her with more passion than hot summer nights, rolling around on the grass with a stranger and kissing them on the mouth. I wanted you to see the damage so I left all the remains as they were, bloody and untidy, I’m not sure which is worse. It’s been four months but I think our ghosts still linger in that apartment, speaking softly of forgotten promises and a better life you had promised. I left you one last message, telling you to come and find me before all you discover is a corpse.