The Break Up & The Broken

“Are you okay?” Strange voices filtered through my head, and I nodded vaguely to the concerned strangers.

The rain battered down on me, and I was grateful for that, because my tears now camouflaged easily into the background.

I had kissed her goodbye.

The thought wafted through my head, and punched a crater in my stomach. I could picture her pale face in my head as I told her I was leaving. It looked so terrified I had wanted to hug her and promise her I would always be there for her and tell her I loved her over and over again. Instead, I did none of those things.

I had kissed her goodbye.

I had expected her to get angry with me. I had expected her to scream and yell and bring the roof down, but she hadn’t. Instead, she had looked at me with still, lifeless eyes and my heart had plummeted to my knees.

And so, when she didn’t say anything for a long while, I decided it was time to leave. I took a step closer, she stayed where she was. I let my palm cup her cheek, and shivered slightly at how cold she was. I let my thumb graze her cheek, and I bent towards her. I kissed her softly, on unmoving lips. I looked into her eyes, but she wasn’t looking at me. She didn’t kiss me back. She made no motion.

I stepped away. “Goodbye, beautiful.” I whispered.

I had kissed her goodbye.

As I reached to door, I turned back and saw her again. I looked at the auburn curls tapering towards her waist, her large brown eyes that used to get away with doing any sort of mischief, the curve of her nose, the mole at the edge of her lip, her fingers at the frays of her yellow sundress.

I committed it all to memory.

I didn’t want to leave her. That’s all I could think about. I couldn’t leave her like that, alone. And yet I did. As my foot stepped out the door, it carried me far far away from her. There was a strange feeling in my ribcage, though. It was light. Nay, it was weightless. I had, after all, left my heart back with her.

I had kissed her goodbye.

And so I stumbled along the rain, miserable, lonely and heart-broken. I had just given up on my one epic love, and my life felt like it was collapsing.

I must be the one man in history who left the one epic love of his life and then cried about it.

I was dumb. I was an idiot. I had left her.

I had kissed her goodbye.

A week later, I could finally stagger out of my bed. I looked at myself in the mirror. Unkempt hair, unshaved beard. I looked like a ruffian. I shrugged it away as I padded down towards the hallway.

It was when I was buttering my fourth toast that I decided. I was going to see her that day.

There was a light tingling in the core of my stomach. A tinge of excitement and curiosity. A tinge of knowing I’d be closer to her again.

I took a shower, and I shaved and I combed and combed and combed. My hands trembled with anticipation, and I ran to the florist.

“Hey, John. The usual, please.” I asked the florist. He made an arrangement of the most beautiful carnations, her favorite. I had got them for her every week.

“Thanks.” I yelled, as I ran. I halted when I reached, though. I took a deep breath in, and suddenly, I felt hollow.

She probably hated me, I realized. I almost lost my courage to see her, but nevertheless, pushed past the creaky gate.

My eyes roamed the large ground to find her, and when I did, I walked slowly towards her.

I sat down silently next to her. I placed the flowers on the cold stone, and whimpered, “Forgive me, baby.”

She didn’t respond.

“I didn’t want to leave you.” I continued.

She didn’t respond.

“I didn’t want us to part.” I cried.

She didn’t respond.

“I love you, and I miss you, and I want you back.” I said.

She didn’t respond.

I looked at the encryption on the grave stone. Susie Jones 1994-2014. A loving friend and daughter.

“I know you won’t respond. I know you can’t. But I need you to know that I have always loved you since the day we met. You are not just the better half of me, you’re my better whole. You make a good person just by being with me, and Suze, without you, I’m lost. Kissing you goodbye at your funeral was the hardest thing I’ve had to do in my entire life. I hope you like the flowers, though.”

I cried like a baby at her stone, and her lifeless eyes as I had kissed her goodbye flashed before me once again.

I spoke to the stone for hours, never once expecting a reply. I was just content to be close to her. My voice echoed through the graveyard, long after sundown.

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