Holding on

Your absence had a way about it. It reached from its distance to tear at my lungs, clawing until for fight of breath I would weakly gasp those words. I. Miss. You.
You were an artist. Painting yourself bit by broken bit into the scene before erasing yourself from the narrative- always leaving empty holes in different places of my heart you’d decide to only for a time settle.
But my sisters had too loved artists. And I remember watching as they got sucked into the canvass of lies and guilt and the shame traced by he that was far too gone for far too long but too had a grip on their lungs.
And then I knew that about you there was nothing new. It was you that was weak, from my lifeblood you drew your identity. Holding on to what you didn’t think you wanted but afraid of what you would be if you didn’t.
Do you not know who you are?

Karaoke

We liked to play this game, you and I, where the first one that guessed what the other was thinking won. I was quick at jumping to half-baked conclusions to what was going through your mind- ‘half-baked, but true!’ I would argue. And you would smile, that distant, stoic smile that hid behind it a million secrets I knew I knew, or I thought I knew, or you’d said I already knew. You watched quietly, with an unsure certainty when at last you would say what was in the back of my mind and my throat, that which despite my adamant denial was almost always true.
And so on that night, when I looked at you in the darkness, as we listened to the horrible karaoke singing above us, I was sure that you knew already what I wanted to say, what I wanted you to say out loud for me. But you kept your mouth shut, as the wind blew lazily around us, and the Theology student bolted past us with the karaoke machine which he’d stolen from the room above. As noises of confusion and anger flew past our heads, and cries for the Theology student’s head rang across the quad. You stood there, your eyes fixed on a point just above my head- it’s so easy to look above my head. You opened your mouth to speak and just as my heart rose in expectation that you had finally figured it all out-
Goodbye.
Those words- or is it just one word. The ‘good’ and the ‘bye’ brought together because the pain of separation which ripped many apart only causes them to cling closer to one another and-
And so that night, I sang. It was scratchy and echo-ey and the Theology student had been brought to his justice and the crowd was silent. I half hoped they would break into sympathetic ovation for my pathetic rendition of a song written before my time and way ahead of my time to understand. But I doubt they were listening; everyone sings that song at Karaoke nights and they were all just waiting their turn at the beer scented microphone.
Their turn to sing too their sorrows, their loves and their drunken stupor away. About the one they had loved for three years, about the one they hoped would stay, about the one who had said, Goodbye.