Sunday, 5 June 2016

How could you leave?


How could you leave when we were still in love, when passion hadn't faded, when there was still so much to do? We hadn't yet had time for familiarity to breed contempt or even indifference. I hadn't tired yet of your stories, you still hung on my every word. The air between us was full of longing, the magnetic pull between us so strong. It was like you ripped my skin off when you left, though no-one could see me bleeding. And this longing still scrabbles about like a crab with no shell, searching for its home.

If you were going to die, couldn't you have left it, at least, until the trees were losing their leaves? So we could have seen all four seasons together. At least, that way, I could relive them each year on a rota. It would have been more poetic, a better title: 365 Days With the Blacksmith, or The Year of Love. They could have a made a movie of it.

And why would you die in March? What were you thinking? Were you in cahoots with the grief police who think I should get this grieving lark over in a few short weeks? It would have been convenient. I could have grieved in the snow and been reborn in the Spring. April Fool. As if it could be so easy. Did you not consider how it would feel to see new life bursting out all over when all I could know was death?

And couldn't we at least have had one sunny day to paddle on a beach, one June night gazing at stars, one outdoor swim, one warm moonlit night, one festival, one camping trip, one barbecue? Is that too much to ask?

And, seriously, how could you leave me of all people? Me, who has been left and left and left again. Couldn't you have stayed long enough to understand that I have abandonment issues? Didn't you promise me that you had at least twenty years in you? That you were as strong as an ox? That, even if we weren't lovers, you would always, always be there for me, always be my friend? You did. I remember it. You promised.

We never even had time to have an argument, for God's sake. Just a tiny blip that one night when you rolled away from me in bed when I hurt your feelings. Do you remember why? Of course you do. I was saying that I was worried because you were older than me that you might get sick or die. I didn't mean this year. I meant in ten years. Or fifteen. Or twenty. I started to cry and you rolled back towards me and held me tight because you understood. That I couldn't take any more loss. That I couldn't risk loving you only to lose you. 'I've got you,' you said. You said that if we got married we could have a pro-nuptial agreement, absolving me of caring duties. I'd seen too much of hospitals, cared for too may sick people. You said you would spare me any more of that. To be fair, you did. No hospitals, no sickness, no deathbed scene or slow farewell. Just a loving goodnight message. And then silence. And blackness. And a longing that has no home.

I know you didn't mean it. I know that leaving me and this earth was the last thing on your mind. I know now what I knew already, that there are some promises we can't keep, even when we want to. That it wasn't in your power to stay. And I know you didn't leave me empty-handed. You left me with our love still in tact, went out on a high note, before anything could go wrong. You left me with a love story, short though it was, maybe a novella instead of a saga. And you left me with a love that continues beyond the last page.

But still, how could you?