Love, I was starting to think that with you gone, I was gone, too. I wasn’t wrong to think that. I really am gone. The me who laughed for you, who wrote for you, who cried for you, who lived for you is gone. She died the day you left. But I found myself a new identity. Lost under all those layers that I put on to please you, there was a girl who yearned to live for herself, who wanted to sing and laugh and dance and write without having a care in the world. When you left, all those layers fell apart and the girl timidly stepped out into the world; Lost, scared and broken. But with each day that passed, she found her strength and learned to live. With your memories, without you. Until one morning, the pain felt bearable and she smiled, a real smile. And she laughed and cried and sang and danced. For herself. For the day you left, love, she learned to love herself. I learned to love myself.
She’d preserved her tears,
In an airtight container,
And locked them away,
In the darkest corner
Of the storage.
Her laugh, too,
Lay thoughtfully, in a trunk
Beside those tears,
Just slightly worn out and termite-bitten.
Covered with cobwebs,
And screened by a thick film of dusty memories.
Locked in with rust,
Pervading that age-old scent
And with every sunset,
She awaited the fireflies,
Who’d remind her of warm summer nights
Spent under this very porch.
The swing sat right where it’d been all those years ago,
Only now it was rusted and rotting away.
She heard voices echo all around her,
The empty house suddenly filled by the shouts and laughter of its previous inhabitants.
The stairs creaked with every step she took,
Warning her of the horror that was awaiting her.
Taking a deep breath, she pushed open the dreaded door.
The pieces of the shattered glass lay right where she remembered them to be,
The mirror, still cracked and blood-stained,
The curtains, half torn down.
With shaking hands, she reached for that trunk,
And she heard her laughter, so full of life, turning hollow.
But then, she pushed open the windows,
To let the summer breeze in,
And grabbed the broom lying in the corner,
Starting to sweep away the remnants of an ugly past.
The sun rays filtering in through the windows,
Had brought the room back to life.
And she heard her laugh turn lively again,
And she looked into the container to see those tears disappear.
Standing by the window with her eyes closed,
She breathed in the fresh air,
Opening her eyes to see the sunset taking away the ugliness from her life.
The fireflies came around, bringing back the smile that she’d once lost in this very room.