Tonight, You Had Me

Short story about grief and break up

Tonight, You Had Me

I often wonder what it would be like if I stayed by your side, if we never broke up. My apartment felt empty the minute you left, and I stuffed your portion of the bed with silence and alcohol.

I wake up at night, my cat is howling at my window. Even that feline has more company than me. I wish I was a small domesticated animal, deliberating if my master gave me my morning breakfast or she’ll forget and cater me after work. Life would reside in simplicity, to be fed or not to be.

Instead

Instead, I’m stuck in my incarnated body, writing my heart out, screaming in my head, listening to sad songs so I can finally cry. I’m an insignificant mortal drowned in an overcrowded earth. It doesn’t make any sense. Why am I here? Why am I living through this hard time? Why do I have to say, “I’m OK”?

It doesn’t make sense and, somehow, we accept it as human existence. Ups and downs, high and low, yet never too long in the middle. Perfection doesn’t come about down here, but we managed to create an idol Perfection: the one we all seek with such a hurry. Big life follows big headaches, and love constitute the hardest of them all. I feel sad across my soul, through my body and mind. I experience sadness at its purest and inflexible form.

I’m no more than my cat, I just want to be fed with love and joy, happiness and euphoria. To be fed or not to be, strikes again.

Alternatively

Alternatively, I’m looking by the window, where my cat is graciously sitting. I see a dark sky full of stars. I feel smaller than ever, almost nauseous.

On the Other Side

On the other side of the river, I saw an empty, large umbrella sky. I was sitting on a huge rock, beside an endless forest. Two years had already passed, I grew up, I changed, I created a world I can call mine. I graduated, I got hired in a great studio, I fulfilled plenty of my wishes.

And here I am, on this other side of the river, somewhere unknown, looking by your window. Peeking to understand everything. Have I made the right choice? Is there such thing as a right choice? Are you as fulfilled as I pretend? Who are we kidding?

I wonder if I made you change your mind. I wonder why you’re up all night. I wonder what you’re writing about. I wonder why your cat howls. I wonder if your cat would recognize me. I wonder if you’d recognize me at all.

I feel as if it’s been two decades. I wish we waited more. I want to tell you, but I can’t. I see you behind every stranger. I won’t open Netflix, I used to watch each series by your side. I can’t read a book, I’m obsessed with whether you’d liked it or not.

As I’m here, somewhere in the woods, I brought your beloved Flaubert. I’m here to burn it, smash it, tear it, and bite delight out of it. I’m here to beg for forgiveness, the stars as my witnesses. I’m here to erase the smell of your perfume and the fantasy of your skin.

I’m erasing memories to be able to create new ones, once and for all. I’m tired of this permanent state of consciousness. I used to fill my mattress with loud and fussy love, I worshiped noisy feelings and vibrant colors. All this performance exhausted me: I’m wounded and crippled, I’m starving into surrender. I’m abruptly ready to burst your side of the bed with muted bliss.

breakups
Laurie-Line Gauthier
Laurie-Line Gauthier
Read next: 'Chocolate Kisses'
Laurie-Line Gauthier

Freelance artist @Femartsy

Mental health/culture/art/lifestyle/love/relationships/LGBTQ+++

See all posts by Laurie-Line Gauthier