Lipstick stains, empty bottles of pills. What happened last night? You light another cigarette, you burn another bridge. This one leading to her. The one you ran to when the nights were cold like ice on your soft skin in the winters. She was a cup of coffee on a rainy day, two sugars and no milk, you had it your way.
You throw on a shirt, holes burnt through its fabric, it was old and you should have thrown it out ages ago. But it reminded you of her. Another relationship you failed to keep, another one added to the list of incapabilities, a failure.
You loved the way her arms would wrap around your neck when you kissed, the way her hugs made you feel warm inside. She was like a bright sky, a beautiful night. She was the patterns she traced on your hands on the inside of your palms, she was the cake batter stuck on your kitchen walls when you two decided to bake. What a disaster that was. But somehow it never felt like that.
She wasn’t just the good times, she was the mascara stains you washed off of your fingers after you wiped her tears away. She was the cuts on your arms, they bled with every fight you had. She was the feeling when your knees weakened, when your heart stopped with your breath caught. She was the noise, the slamming of doors and the crashing of plates against the tiled kitchen floor. She was the music, the laughter and the jokes, the “I love you’s” and the burning of dinner, because she never knew how to cook.
In everything you saw, everything you did. There was a piece of her, traces of her presence were carved into your mind. There was no escape, you couldn’t get away. Not that you wanted to anyways.
She was everything, a ghost of the better you, she was a witness to the love you had sealed away. But it was never enough.
And now you wonder if she still wears that dress you bought her, you wonder if your existence left the same countless irreplaceable traces in her life. If she still drinks at night, just forget, or did she already let go?
Because the shoebox of memories she left on your doorstep says so.-H