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Requiem for the Broken Heart
Lily Brown


Did he die or did I?
I thought it was HIM, the loss felt so intense. Now I know it was me.
I am just a shadow, invisible to the world. No one sees me; I pass through this world as though I’m not there. A ghost. A lost traveller, on a strange road leading to nowhere.
Left behind on the journey he had implied we would share. All those familiarities, all the "same old, same old" – all gone! The way he walked. The way he talked. What amused him, and what annoyed him. His good points. His bad points. They all were HIM, and I loved him for it. I was happy to take the rough with the smooth.

But to be judged. To be compared. To be found wanting. I didn’t meet HIS needs. I didn’t understand him. The words I used, were NOT the ones he had mentally pre-arranged for me to say. I was a failure, a disappointment, a promise not delivered. I didn’t recognise his undiscovered genius, or his deeper melancholy side. I ADORED him, but I had missed the point! I wasn’t worshipping the idol of himself, in quite the manner he desired.
I said too much. I said too little. I was too young. I was too old. I was too open and I was too closed. I was holding him up! It was ALL MY fault!

But, I DID understand. He just never knew. The pain of realising he didn’t know. He acted out the drama of our relationship in his head, and now he had arrived at the final scene. With well-rehearsed clichés, he took his final bow and left - the stage of my life!
We would still be friends, of course! We would still have contact. HE understood what I was going through. It had happened to HIM – once!

But, he DIDN’T understand. The words were right, but the meaning was all wrong. Back to those well-worn clichés that he loves so much. What a fool I was, not to notice THAT before.

All torn apart, am I. All confidence, long gone. Wide-eyed and staring, in an unfamiliar world. Shivering in the cold. Dead, am I. Yet, I still wake up every morning. I still breathe. But I have nothing to say for myself. No impression to make. How terrible to know I must be confirming all his horrible suspicions.

And now, I AM leaving, but it doesn’t matter to where. All places seem the same, home or hotel, city or sea, heaven or hell. I go because I cannot bear to stay; yet when I arrive it’s as empty as the last place. The memories are haunting and the silence is crushing.
I reached out. But he didn’t see me. He didn’t EVEN look! He was thinking about him, not US! So pre-occupied was he, and when he finally turned his attention, it was only to cut and to slice. Didn’t he know? To dissect something still living is to kill it! How our relationship came under that knife. Was it all planned? Was this the destiny he was hoping to achieve? Now he wants some novelty, a beginning, perhaps another victim to cut up. I am too every day, and READY to be sacrificed.

Will he ever be loved again as I loved him? Will he wonder at his loss, or does he think it gain? For him, it seems, I was just a pleasant interlude to be thought of as a fond memory. But for me, he was my ALL, and NOW I am dead and he has moved on

© Lily Brown 2001

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