-Natalie Fern Bell
I pounded my fists against her chest, “Get this shit away from me!” She grabbed my wrists and slammed me up against the wall, lowered her eyes to meet mine, “Natalie, I’m sorry, I never meant to hurt you, I’m sorry…” I thrusted my force against her and screamed, kneeled down on the bed that we once called our own, the letters scattered across those ruffled sheets that once held our convulsing bodies. I grabbed one letter and began to read it out loud, “Dear Laura, I love you. I’m looking forward to when I can see you again. You’re everything I ever wanted in a woman, but I wanna take this slow, I don’t know if I’m ready to leave her yet. We’ve been together so long, I don’t want to make any hasty decisions…” She grabbed me and held me to her chest, “Shh, shh, calm down, I’m sorry baby, I’m sorry….” I put my hands on her shoulders and pushed her off me, she fell back against the mattress, sat up. I screamed through my tears, “Don’t you fucking tell me you’re sorry…” She stood up, calmly collected the letters scattered across the fabric of our life, thread count, 3 years. She picked up her coat off the floor, the one I’d worn this past winter so I could keep her scent on my clothes. She picked up her back, the one I’d carried while desperately chasing her down the street, “Your cigarettes aren’t in your pocket… I love you, have a nice time.” She put her hand on the door. “Where are you going?” I screamed, crying harder now, scared now, “I’m sorry,” she whispered under her breath, hiding behind her hair. I stood up off the bed, fell to my knees, grabbed at her jacket, hid my face inside her shirt, muffled shouts, “Please don’t leave me, please, I’m begging you, please…” She closed her eyes tighter, put her hands in my hair, pulled my face away from her, wiped my tears with her thumbs, “I’m sorry.” She seemed to whisper. She opened our apartment door and I’ll never forget the slam. Slam shut the door to our future, it’s now become the cellar door, everything we try so hard to hide, keep it out of our sight. Slam shut the door to my heart, give me back my keys, if you wanna leave, don’t ever come back. I laid there on that floor, dirty carpet, once warm, now cold and infested with lies. I laid there until morning came, I cried until I thought I was going to die. I called her cell phone that next night, she was staying with her friend who used to be our friend, but friends in break ups get lost like kids in divorces. She won custody. I left a message on her machine, “hey, it’s me, um… call me back, or something.” She called me back and I cried, I cried at my receiver, my tears seeping into her ear. It was over. Over. Over. That was 6 years ago today. A few months after the break up I regained my footing. My self identity. She wanted to be together again that year, said we could try again in the cold season, she needed the fall to rediscover herself. The hardest thing I ever did was to say no. No thank you, I’ll pass. So calm and collected, like she was water. She was water, and I was oil, and we couldn’t blend. But oh how I wanted to. I wanted those years back, those past lives that only existed with her, without her I didn’t care what happened after I died. I wanted my virginity back, the one she took from me, so carefully, delicately, securely. I wanted those arms back, those ones that held me until I fell asleep. I wanted my innocence back, the one that unquestionably believed that she was my one and I was hers. There are a thousand ones our there for each of us, it just takes some breaking in to understand that. But despite all of that, the little girl who cowers in the back of my mind is still waiting for her to walk back into my life. Sorry sweet heart, I changed the lock.