The Day After You Left

The day after you left it rained. I despised the very first drop that fell on my skin, like an unwanted intervention from above trying to rob my existence of the vague traces of yourself you left on me. Your smell, for instance. The kind that never made a big deal of itself, a beautiful concoction of everything you were – your morning coffee, your favourite shirt, the smell of the old dog-eared book you always had in your bag. I wish I could bottle it up though, your smell.
I remember how you loved the rain, and I, the sunshine. When we were caught unawares in sudden summer rain, when I was busy looking for a roof, you insisted we walk in it. You held my hand as we did, and watched me let my guard down for you. The first time we made love, the rain pattered against the glass pane, a prelude and encore to the music we wrote to each other’s bodies. You traced your fingers around my curves and crevices, hillsides and valleys, from my nape to my spine around my navel and waist… you sent electricity through my nerves. That night as the thunder roared outside, I wrote poetry to you. And many nights after that.
The day after you left it rained. I sat on the floor with all the poems I wrote for you and the letters unsent, strewn around me. I never let you leave you see, for you were very much there, in all the metaphors I caged you in, in my words and ink. Maybe I knew you would leave one day, in your habit of fleeing from whatever you lost yourself in, in your whimsical escapades. And in my habit of always being prepared, I prepared for your final disappearing act too, by not letting you disappear from the words I hold most dear to me.

The yellowed parchment has very efficiently caged the moments before you closed the door behind yourself. That was my final letter to you, the one I did send, but never got a reply to. The one which has bottled up my smell within it’s creases — the smell of cheap wine, for I had ensconced myself on the sill of a lively liquor bar one night. I never liked it, but I went there anyway hoping I’d see you there. I watched couples dancing with their arms around each other, basking in the wild promise of an unknown eternity. I watched young men trying to woo girls in sparkly dresses. I sat there and wrote to you all the things I wanted to say to you, but never could because I was never the risk-taker. I never told you that you were home. I never told you that you lighted fireworks in my heart every time you laughed like that. Or how my lips had become attuned to yours, so much so that they now feel bare and lifeless. I never told you how were the only thing I loved more than words. Do you know how much it hurts waking up alone? I guess you do, for I imprisoned that infinity in the letter for you to make meaning of.

The day you left, it rained too. That day, you put on your rain boots and opened your umbrella before closing the door behind yourself. I never understood why.


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