Still A Favorite

Had there been a simple way to end the relationship and get rid of you – other than bagging you – I would’ve taken it.

I wish you had gathered the courage to vocalize your true feelings. You didn’t have to bottle them up. You didn’t have to cage them behind the ribs, fighting for space with the lungs, cutting your breath off – losing buttons.

By the day you decided it was enough, you had clutched at my throat; chest rising and falling to the rhythm of a tempest. It was clear one of us had to go.

I tried talking, tried being mature, visited the shrink, Taylor – but it was too late for words, far gone for understanding. I re-live that day in my mind. I run back the tapes, play in slow motion, forward the scenes, and zoom in. I zoom in, wishing to see a glimpse of a tail. I search for a dark cloak. Or anything that would prove that there was a shape-shifting alien present. In the least, I scan for mind control at play – something or someone to pick the blame.

Why the years we shared would suddenly be of no value to you bugs me. Why our plans for the future would become wretched and unattractive is beyond me. I’m not sure what hurts more: that I have to carry the memories of our past, or that I have to bear the vision of a future we will never fulfill.

On which stretch did I lose you? How did your caress and fit grow into being clingy? Could it be that someone else tried squeezing into our relationship? Questions plague me and circle my thoughts.

It burdens me that I have this file constantly on my desk under the “Unsolved” pile. A file that always stares back at me when I take a seat at the desk of my mind. It documents our time together in the shape of images and videos – placeholders of our life journeys.

Was it a conscious decision, taken over thousands of other small choices? Was it always a facade, a curtain we pulled over all our sadness and pain until we ran out of fabric to cover it up? Could it have been doomed from the start? Could we have always known but chosen to preserve the short periods of bliss, even though amid dissatisfaction?

Now we can’t do more than part ways. I hope I don’t get to see you again. And not in the arms of another, tightly embracing them. But I pray you will be happy. And you will get a good one, good enough to treat you with the tender love and care you deserve. One who will run your wash at 40 degrees, at medium speed, and with fellow whites. But as long as I never get to see it.

Into the bag you go, next to the other pile of clothes I don’t wear anymore. Ready for shipping off to who knows where. But you will make a decent donation. I guess I can’t call you my favorite shirt anymore. Goodbye.

Photo by Alberto Bobbera on Unsplash

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