How to fall out of love

By

yesterday i cut off my hair,

a mess of strewn strands surrounding me.

you said my hair

was like holding sunlight in the palm of your hands.

you wrapped a coil around your fingers

and then tugged it.

i laughed.

[maybe i was sunlight.]

.

i went to our favourite cafe

and got myself some coffee.

sat at our table and traced over

the notches in the wood

where you carved our names

on our very first date.

you drank your coffee

with milk and an obscene amount of sugar.

[what do i do with this useless bit of information now?]

.

3 am in the kitchen.

staring aimlessly at the cupboards.

while the ghosts of nights

spent dancing on countertops

silently watch me.

the dishes have piled up

and the fruit basket still has the bananas

i bought to make bread

from your sister’s recipe.

they’ve rotted now, bruised and browning.

but i can’t bear to throw them away.

[why am i looking at bananas and crying?]

.

its been days since i’ve showered.

so i forced myself under the hot torrent of water

asking it

to wash away the marks you’ve left on me.

i scrubbed furiously, till my skin ran red and raw,

till i couldn’t smell you anymore,

till i had rid myself of every trace of you.

but there’s your bottle of shampoo

proudly sitting, chest squared,

mocking me.

[who screams at a bottle of shampoo?]

.

all my friends said i needed to delete

everything to do with you.

so that’s what i did.

went through all the albums on my phone.

drowning, sinking and suffocating in all these memories.

a video from your birthday last year when i gave you a surprise party,

balloons, streamers, party hats, your arms around mine.

photos from new years.

wide smiles and fireworks.

your mother’s birthday, my first day of work.

everywhere it’s you, you, you.

i deleted these photos

but how do i delete you?

[how do i erase these memories permanently?]

.

it’s been four months now.

three long arduous months

of crying in my bed,

crying in clubs,

crying at work.

three months spent

unlearning everything,

your habits, your ticks,

the curve of your neck,

the taste of your name in my mouth.

three difficult months.

.

and one month,

where the curtains fell

and you weren’t the hero of the story anymore.

where i remembered the nights you

left me hanging by the phone,

waiting for a call back.

falling asleep to an empty bed,

lies you fed me on a silver platter.

scars that will last forever.

tears you wiped away

as you caused them.

and that’s when the cracks and fissures

i always ignored

gave way.

and the first time that i

stopped defending you to myself.

that’s when i knew.

that you were never my saviour.

or my knight in shining armour.

but you weren’t a villain either.

you were just you.

plain, unremarkable, mundane,

just a person.

and i guess,

that’s how i began to fall out of love.

Illustration:

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