I remember days and months wasted, drinking too much and eating too little, demanding the collective wisdom of friends who were tired of hearing his name, desperate to know if they thought he ever loved me. But I am beginning to understand that perhaps there isn’t a truth to everything, and I don’t need to know the truth anymore. What he thought was good for him may not be what is right, but these are old injuries now, and I refuse to acknowledge the scars. We will grow old separately, our hearts will falter and sing, we will fall over and over, and continue to make the same mistakes with unwavering enthusiasm.
I remember lying by his side, his head bowed down in shame as he begged me to hate him but refused to give me a reason. By the time he was ready to admit his error in judgment I was in too deep, discovering for the first time that the past can be so unforgiving. I was too busy delegating blame and he was busy trying to erase his misdemeanors. We were both so caught up in the moment, neither of us stopped to study our mistakes. With my back against the wall and stripped bare of all my pride, he reminded me that love is immortal but we were only human.
I remember meeting at the coffee house, sitting across from each other, trying to keep a safe distance because we weren’t sure who was more toxic. He said it was good to see me again and he sounded so genuine I almost wanted to believe him. Before our drinks had cooled I found his arms around me, his lips on mine, and it was beginning to feel like home. Then I looked down at his hands and I saw murdered love; I looked into his eyes and saw a guilty conscience; I touched my own skin and felt dirty again.
I remember throwing his favourite mug on the kitchen floor and taking twisted pleasure in watching it shatter. I thought it was a fitting tribute, like the way she had shattered my life with one simple phone call. I hated the sound of her name, his insistence of her innocence, her childish belief that being good to many entitled her to wound a few.
I remember sleeping in his old room and trying to imagine what he was like as a child. I wondered if he was always so easy going and secretly stubborn, kind to strangers and cruel to those who got too close. I waited for him to fall asleep and in the dark I scratched her perfume off my skin. He woke up to the nightmare that had become our lives, we could not look at each other without spite brewing. We started keeping track of our crimes and histories began to matter as I looked for ways to erase myself from his life. We found solace in the pain we caused each other, we promised to never love so deeply again.