An Open Letter to Him.

I often feel that “breakup,” as a word, is too freely used and has lost some of its meaning. Its casual usage undermines in many ways the deeply rooted and deeply felt pain that accompanies a breakup. It forgets the agony, sharp and enduring, of the shattered shards of a broken relationship.

In my experience, the breakup is akin to a tree struck by lightning in the middle of a forest, leaving behind only a blackened, burnt-out shell, a poor imitation and mimicry of itself, destroyed in the blink of an eye. It’s like a bone has been snapped in half and its shards are left unmended, puncturing other organs and deepening the wound. It’s like being drawn and quartered, like my body has physically been torn apart and dragged away.

And then the pain starts fading with time, not quite leaving fully but lying numbly in the back of your mind at all times. Suppressed behind a wall of my own fabrication, it strains against that barrier like a lake confined by a flimsy dam, where a single crack can cause it to explode like a flood painfully into your awareness.

As they say, time mends all things, but they never mention just how slow or enduring that process is. It escapes mention that while time numbs the pain, you remain haunted by countless ghosts.

I have ghosts everywhere. Ghosts in the shape of you. Ghosts that linger invariably all over this city. Ghosts that hover constantly over my shoulder. Ghosts that weigh me down, that are constantly trying to pull me back into the past.

When a bond runs so deep and so strong between two people, it inevitably follows that the severance of that bond leaves broken echoes reverberating throughout the monotony of daily life, like a chilling scream echoing eternally within a labyrinth of caves.

It’s kind of like the ghost senses that an amputee experiences once their limbs are removed; you forget that it’s gone and for a moment, you can feel that part of you like it’s still there, like it’s still connected to you and you are still whole. Then, you look down and realize, that part of you is never coming back.

Everywhere I walk, I have a ghost accompanying me, haunting my thoughts and my actions. I look around, and everything seems so normal, so unchanging and static, and yet the ghost at my side insistently reminds me that things will never be the same again, will never be as they once were.

The ghosts steal my breath, sneak up on me and shove in my face the “once-were”s and the “once-upon-a-time”s, reminding me incessantly of the space by my side that you once filled.

Imagine it; it’s like I’m caught in a inescapable wind tunnel of ghosts, incessantly whirling about me like a furious tornado and sucking out my breath as though I’m caught in an eternal vacuum.

I can’t breathe, but I have to.

The ghosts may be stealing my breath, but I intend to steal it back.


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