Your Ex-Lover is Dead

Live through this and you won’t look back.

Billie called me this morning at seven. The sky was changing from a deep dark blue to a hazy gold. There was richness in the air. The scent of the fallen leaves itched my nose; my feet crunched them, ripping the leaves from the seams of their steams.  I was running along the side of the road near the toll bridge when I answered. I stopped, listened and dropped my mobile in the mud.

Jeff and I were once lovers. He gave his everything, bits and pieces of emotions that I toyed with. When I was a child, I liked to squeeze puddles of glue into the palm of my hand and play with it. That was what Jeff was to me. He was my glue. My putty paste. He said that we were destined to grow old together, the way both sets of our parents did. I never believed in the sharing of one’s soul; just because some attractive man liked the same bizarre things I did didn’t make him my ultimate soul mate. Yet, we stayed together, from being introduced by a friend, our first date to our last.

Everyone could see that Jeff was perfect. He had kindness in his eyes and wore his heart on his sleeve. He did simple gestures to prove his devotion. Chocolate chip pancakes were his specialty and were a given after an intense night of passion. Tulips were secondary and were since the first date when he proudly presented a dozen yellow ones to me. He constantly wore a sticky sweet smile on his face and always spoke the best of people and their characteristics. And when those people were sad, lonely or depressed, he used his grandfather’s old sayings to bring them up. When there is nothing left to burn, you must set yourself on fire, was a favorite of his.

It was nighttime when we broke up. We hated hearing the sound of each other flossing, picking out chunks of food between our teeth. I stayed in the bathroom, preparing myself for the words I was about to speak. I felt brave. I finished washing my face with cold creme and Jeff came in. He said I had the face of porcelain doll despite my many scars. He walked over and kissed my forehead. I clamped my lips shut. Something cold emerged from my skin and I no longer wanted to be touched. I leaned back, but he took my hand. Not saying anything, Jeff put a silver ring on my finger. I told him to leave, that I was not sorry I that I met him. I wasn’t sorry it was over. I was not sorry. There was nothing to save. He left. I still wore the ring.

Billie said I was the sole subject in the note that Jeff wrote. It’s nothing but time and a face that you lose, he wrote. I loved you more than life itself. I’m very sorry. I decided then and there that I wasn’t going to the funeral. I looked at the silver trinket he gave me that evening in the bathroom. I took it off and placed it on the ground, pressing it in the dirt with my sneaker. Then I picked up my phone and ran across the bridge.

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