Short Story

Toffee

The room unpacked. Your clothes on the bed, your notebooks spread on the desk. We run through your papers, your old accounts. Deconstruct what’s left. Piles for the charity shop, to keep, to hand me down. I check the pockets of your coat. The one you’d wear as we’d walk in the Spring. Pull out a tissue, a worn 20p piece, a toffee wrapper that lost it’s shine. I hold onto it, see you unwrapping it, passing one to me. A secret just for us, those years ago. Years ago. I rub the wrapper as the tears sting. Put it in my pocket. Keep you safe. A little longer.

Not Here

I pull my sleeves down, cover my hands. Play with the wool that has unraveled. The wool that you wore. Breath in. A hint of you. Though it has been through the wash again and again. Still it has a part of you. I wrap myself in this jumper. Too big. I echo within. Watch the rain stream down the window. Watch the drops fall from the sill.

White Noise

I should be sleeping. I turn the radio on. Listen to the songs, any songs to kill the silence that aches all night. To ease my restless mind. My broken heart. I close my eyes, clench my teeth. Focus on the noise. Breathe in and out. Heart races as the song ends, dreading the silence. The final punch…the last beat…to nothing…Still. I crack. Weakened. Next song. A little longer. I hope.

Unravel

Close to midnight my mind is busy, too busy. Tumbling and turning. Writhing around. A nest of thoughts tangled, tugging.

Time to pause.

I know I should pause.

But the tug is there. The mess is waiting. Pulling at my mind.

I can’t sleep. I still can’t sleep.

I go to the garden, sit on the swing. A chill catches me. I swing into the night. Reach for constellations, patterns I know well.

I swing, legs not touching the floor. Reaching for the stars. Searching for something. Not ready to land.

If I land. I fall. Trip up on my own thoughts. They wrap me up, pull me down. Too much. Tonight. I swing. In, out, up, down. I push myself harder, reach higher. Tears roll down my face. My fractured heart aches.

The stars fade. The sun breaks. Another tired day.

A bonfire for one

I sit, surrounded by things. Things you used to own. Photos of things we’d done. I gather them up, into a mountain of memories. Set them alight. Watch us burn. Alone. I watch the fires dance. Bright sparks reaching for the night sky. A tear in my eye. I look to the stars, watch the smoke weave it’s way to them. A chill in the air. I sip my mug of wine. Say goodbye. Watch the fires burn. The heat fade. The ashes sit grey.