The prompt for Carry On Tuesday this week is from an anonymous poem entitled Farewell.
Don’t speak, words will only steal the moment…
This story involves a man and a woman breaking up.
Make it go away. The hurt. You could do it. Just tell me it didn’t happen. Tell me you made the whole thing up.
The whole thing with her.
I always said it, didn’t I? It was my mantra. You cheat, you’re out. You cheat, you’re history. Completely black and white.
Except that now that it’s happened I don’t want you to go.
We have slept together for the last time. Four hours ago and you’re still here. We sit at opposite ends of the room, upright, well-postured as if we are in a waiting room. Waiting for one of us to get up and signify the end.
I can smell you on my skin. Sugar-water and tobacco. It’s the last time I will smell it.
Make it go away. The thrust and the ache.
How could you do this and still look at me? How could you tell another woman our secrets? She is older, she is plain, she is frumpy. Why would you have her when you can have me?
My friends will berate me for sleeping with you one last time, but you are still mine as long as you are in the room and the quiet covers the walls with crystals.
You are not going to her. You swear it. But you are not staying with me. It is hard to believe that a man who had two women at the same time could settle for no women at all.
I was angry. I could have killed you. I thought of it. But then I would have mourned you twice. So instead I took it. The sweep of your infidelity.
The floor has a carpet of shadows. Obtuse angles that crowd the corners.
The windows are speckled with dirt. Like tears. One of the curtains is yellowing at the edges.
This morning I saw my face in the mirror. My eyes were curious, a lost child looking for the right direction home. I said to myself: Is this really happening? Has he really tied my heart to the back of his car and dragged it through the roughened city streets?
Things like this don’t happen to me. I am a success. I am entertaining. I am beautiful.
I am not enough.
When we met I knew. Knew it was you. The one who would stop the clamour and the shouting. That is the hardest thing to take. There won’t be one like you again. Not for me.
I have slept with the light on since I heard. When the end of the world comes the house grows unfamiliar. The walls are full of questions, recriminations.
Make it go away. I can’t breathe for thinking of it.
Me without you.
It doesn’t add up.
You’re on your feet. I knew it would be you to go first.
You kiss me, but you do not hold me. That part of our life has gone.
I want you to say my name one last time. I want to hear it fall from your lips as if you really know me.
You falter but say nothing. It’s probably best you don’t speak, words will only steal the moment.
You leave, closing the door behind you. The last thing I will ever see you do.
The emptiness shreds the air. I don’t know if I’m alive or dead.
This wordless goodbye. It’s good. It’s all good.
I want to remember you in silence.