Dont deserve this ghost, but I hope she stays.
I booked the nicest suite in the hotel by the beach. I lit the tea light candles around the room and made it into our oasis. I got caught in a rainstorm with you and had to run through it in sandals so we could crawl back under the covers and spend the night accompanied by the flicker of candlelight and your skin against mine. I studied the art murals. Okay, that’s a lie. I studied you while you studied the art. I watched as your face lit up on the boardwalk. I shared my ice cream and admired the smile on your face as you finished the cone. I traded in our ski ball tokens for matching candy bracelets. I braved the ocean to chase you to the ends of the earth. I smiled as we downed our third round of cocktails on the sand. I sipped frosé until I lost all inhibitions and turned into a sexual deviant. I watched as you admired each freckle on my sun-kissed skin, wishing you would reach down and press your lips to each one that swept over my chest. I laughed as you admired my curls from the salty air. I whispered I love you for the first time. And then I said it again. I giggled as you did a happy dance reading the dinner menu each night. I, poorly, resisted the urge to keep my hands off of you at the dinner table. I flashed my camera as you took your first bite, white wine draped between your fingertips. I captured the moment of you, peering into the sunset and taking a picture of the way it set over the lake with the American flag waving in the wind. I set the picture as my phone wallpaper. I interlaced your fingers in mine as we explored the town. I nibbled on hash browns after you took a picture with your first Dunkin’ donut. I giggled like a child when you whispered, “thank you,” each time I pressed a soft kiss to your forehead. I smiled for bathroom photo shoots. I felt the safety of your arms around me as you clung to me in the pool. I fell in love. Over and over again. Harder than ever. With no way of resurfacing for air.
Nothing more than a resilient woman
with sad eyes, an empty heart,
and chains that bind her
to the haunting darkness
that’s made a home
in her own mind
Chapter Three: Bracing for Cold
You disappeared slowly,
and then all at once
Watched you go, the way I watched him
Now the well’s bled dry,
I have no one to hold
All the hurt and the pain,
I’ve only grown cold
He may be gone,
but now so are you
I’ll never let that go
Oh, I could never let you go
All your demons, oh I knew
Fought them off with a sword
Held you tighter when they pushed through
Now you rewrite the tale, blinded by rage
Paint me as nothing more than the villain,
Still taking up every page
I hate the way I still fight for you
I hate the way I still hope for you
I hate the way I still ache for you
I hate the way I still cry for you
I hate the way I still crave you
I hate the way I still feel for you
I hate what remains of you
I hate the way
I called out your name between whimpers and sighs, tears stinging my squeezed-shut eyes, as I clung to the nothingness that is now just your ghost.
All my dreams are of you
calling to say you miss me, too.
11:11 rolled around,
but I didn’t say your name this time.
I said mine.
I was so afraid to relinquish that last piece of invisible thread – that last bit of hope. So I desperately clung to it. Too afraid of what would remain once the hope was lost.
Turns out, I’m still here.
I’m still fighting.
I’m still growing.
I’m still brave.
Hope isn’t gone. It still remains.
It lives within me – for me.
I have a lightness that I haven’t seen in myself in months. I’ve restored the faith in my strength.
In my ability to love. To forgive. To heal.
The good morning texts,
the late-night messages to greet you when you wake.
Counting down the weeks,
the days, the hours.
Knowing your smile will greet me soon.
Needy lips against my own,
weeks of greed and love and longing behind each kiss.
The warmth of your body
reminding me I’m safe,
reminding me I’m home.
Always needy for the comfort of you.
My lips still tremble, my hips still thrash, my body still aches, for only you. Only you. Always you.
You’re my 4 am thoughts, alone in the silence of the night. You’re my 2 pm thoughts, a welcomed distraction in my work day when I’m aching to reach out and rest my hand on your thigh. You’re my 9 am thoughts, craving the warmth of you on all the cold lonely mornings. You’re my 8 pm thoughts, your head in my lap and my fingers through your hair. You’re my 11 pm thoughts, my fingertips aching for your skin to draw you impossibly closer.
If I squeeze my eyes shut, I can pretend your body is right here beside me again. I can pretend your hand is inches from mine, waiting for me to take it. I can reach out and feel your warmth. But then I open my eyes. It’s cold. And I’m numb.
“I’m giving up,” she finally cried.
But, still, she tucked the only key to her heart right there under the welcome mat – nestled safely for if her lover were to someday return. To someday come back home.