The link to a piece I wrote last year as a guest post for the wonderful and enlightening website, Roots of She is apparently no longer live, so I have added it in full below:
And then comes the day you get a phone call from someone you used to be tied to. One with. ‘Till death you did part.
Or a cute, young brunette with big almond shaped eyes he saw himself reflected back in and imagined it was more pure an adoration than what shone in my own baby blues.
A phone call. The phone call.
Early here, so even earlier where he is. Trouble.
Death. Shock. Grief.
I was the first one he thought to call. Had to call.
We had been close, his sister and I, kindred. But in whatever manner he spun the demise of our union, I became anathema. My attempts to keep her in my life had met only silence. Now I had to let go of the hope that one day she would respond.
Some dark thing inside of me uncurled a gnarled finger and jabbed my left ventricle.
Agony. Muffled weeping. He had turned away from the phone.
Pain and tears…I was all too familiar with both from my own, still fresh, losses.
I knew words are useless against them, so I waited.
Silence. Once so comfortable between us, now singed with tension. I felt him shift. Wind changing direction. Monsoon.
I licked my lips and tasted roiling sarcasm, “Really? After years of insisting how much happier you’ve been without me?” No, that is not who I am. Cruelty is for the weak.
The silence of two heartbeats.
My voice now. Calm. Low. Full only of compassion.
Not for him. I would be kind for her. And for me.
Memories of sunshine and laughter. The way her nose crinkled when she smiled. I stifle a sob.
Would I fly there?
Could he fly here…after?
Is there any chance a spark may yet glow, buried in the ashes of what was?
Anger begins to snake its way up my spine. This? Now? Seriously?
I quell it in an instant.
His smooth familiar voice speaks the words, but Mortality is the breath giving life to them. He smoked in his youth, just long enough to get that voice. It used to roll over me like delicious fire.
“There is nothing.”
Condemnation now. Lashing out. How heavy I was to carry. The burden of my moxie. Of my curves. How helpless he felt in the face of both. The weight of my independence. How it crushed him. My fault. All of it. I ruined everything by wanting when he so craved need.
“Remember”, he spat mournfully through a fresh wave of tears, “when you said you would love me forever?”
My mind’s eye flits to redwoods. A fairy ring. White flowers in my hair. Air still. Sky cloudless. Words. Vows. His hand in mine, the epicenter.
So many years ago. I was a different version of myself then. Not better. Not worse.
True, I did make those vows. Though it was he who dashed them to bits.
I was younger then. Two decades not yet lived.
One with him. One after he left.
What happens to love? Does it evaporate into the ether? Disguise itself as hate? Morph into something else altogether over time? I don’t know. What I do know is that whatever once bound us, no longer held sway.
I searched for it a moment before speaking, nonetheless. Exhaled. Let go. Let down my guard. Reached within myself. Felt for the slightest heat signature. For any signs of it, hidden away somewhere deep. “It’s alright” I called to it soothingly. “Come out, you’ll be safe”, I cooed reassuringly.”
His breath hitching on the other end of the line was the only sound.
I summoned my own, strong and sure, when nothing echoed from my depths except the song of She Who is Me Now.
“That woman,” I said, knowing they would probably be the last words I ever uttered to him”, is dead too.”