She woke feeling more weary than when she fell asleep. She was tired. It was a bone deep kind of tired. This kind of weight on her had been dragging her down for a few months now and she knew she had to do something about it. She had to get out, get dressed, clean up, do something. She couldn’t just lay around here. She couldn’t just wither here. She wanted to. She felt as if she needed to. But she knew, in the end everyone was right, she just couldn’t. She had to get out. She had to try and she had to move on.
You see, it was chipping away at her. It was taking tiny little pieces every single minute and if she were being completely honest with herself she enjoyed it. She wanted to disappear. She was at that point where she just felt better about it. She didn’t want to be here anymore. Not without him. She didn’t want to see the sunlight, it hurt her eyes anyway. She didn’t want to witness another’s smile, what were they so happy about anyway? She didn’t want to smell something cooking, she wasn’t hungry anyway. She didn’t want to feel her dog’s soft fur, he was really soft but not comforting her as usual. She didn’t want to taste her favourite soda anymore, nothing brought her pleasure anymore anyway. She didn’t want to do anything anymore if it was to be one more thing without him. Everything was dark and quiet, all for the sound of his voice in her head which she kept alive by reliving the conversations they’d had throughout the time they’d shared. She could hear him. If she tried hard enough she could almost see him. She couldn’t let him go. She was enjoying this dark place with him. This is how she knew she just had to get up. Self preservation had finally turned on.
Sliding out of their bed she fell to her knees taking a shaky breath. She had given directives last night that when she left this bed today they were to remove it, remove all traces of him today and place a new bed, a new room virtually for her, clean everything, take all of him from it, leave her with a new life, a lonely life without him. She’d been in this room, in this bed with his ghost for 3 months now just withering with him. She had refused to leave him. The tears were coming and she hurriedly crawled on her hands and knees to the adjoining bathroom kicking at the door slamming it shut so as not to hear him anymore. Fuck her heart was pounding out of her chest and she felt sure she was just going to open that goddamn door and get right back into that bed with him and die too.
She could hear them, they’re friends, in they’re room. No her room! Her room…moving things now. Now she had to make an effort or look like a fool. She wanted to run back in and scream STOP and make them stop, put everything back. They would. They’d been so understanding. So kind. They’d loved him too. They were grieving too. She couldn’t even stand so she crawled the rest of the way to the shower and crawled in, sitting on the floor she turned it on and just let the water hit her while she sobbed. At least now she couldn’t hear them tear apart her life. Her love. At least now she couldn’t hear them dismantle five years of the greatest thing she’d ever accomplished. Five years of unconditional comfort, trust, passion, forgiveness, adoration, and partnership.
It seemed as if every second of their relationship ticked by in her head, a grand picture show behind her eyes. Her sobs coming in little hiccups as her breath struggled to catch up to the commands her brain was giving her to just breathe. Her skin was aching at the water long gone cold and she stood going through the motions of washing her body and hair. She took her time drying her curls and getting dressed. She gave herself a lopsided grin at wearing clothing for the first time in three months. They hung on her tiny frame, she needed to gain weight. Baby steps. She’d been in the bathroom for two hours and she couldn’t hear anyone anymore in her bedroom so she took a chance and opened the door.
Twisting her wedding rings violently she looked around and sighed. Everything was new. His things were gone. It smelled fresh and pretty again. She was disappointed. She sat at the edge of the bed and felt more tears begin. On her nightstand was a beautiful key with a necklace. She looked around and spotted a chest at the end of her bed. She knelt before it and inserted the key. Delighted when it opened she found some of his things. The first Teddy Bear he’d given her, his wedding ring, his fatigues and flag, his college sweatshirt, and other little trinkets they’re friends thought she might like. She closed the trunk, put the teddy on her bed, and wore her necklace where it would always be closest to where it would need to be.
Leaving her room she felt lighter, happier and she knew he understood why she could no longer wither with him. Her heart is still broken and it may never mend. Moving on doesn’t mean you ever move past someone. They always stay with you. Once someone carves their name on your heart, it’s there forever, it cannot be erased. Sure, you make room for others and you may even find love again but you’ll always be able to go back and run your fingers over every letter of that lovers name remembering everything they meant to you.