The days they had spent together had already become stories, and yet, their last words were her first thoughts in the morning.
He was an intruder. The boot marks on her doormat, her Merchant of Venice, thumbed at the edges, and the puff of a cigarette by the windowsill- he was the unwelcome guest she was reluctant to let go of.
She had lost count of how many times they were at a crossroads, the number of times he had stormed out the door. His broad back was one of her finest memories.
It was an inevitable routine, followed by a promise waiting to be broken, thrown to the curb like a broken doll.
It took her uncountable nights of empty bottles, one-sided compromises, and a broken frame, to realise that maybe, after all, love meant something completely different to him, compared to what it held for her. Oceans rose and thunder fell in her head, galaxies and songs of a forbidden romance sprang to life from her imagination.
Was she lost? Tied between what she wanted and what she deserved- a stormy mess tangled in her own fictive fabric.
Was she wrong? Or was he at fault?
Maybe, they were never meant for each other.
And yet, when the nights ran long, her thoughts raced through the ice park they visited every weekend, or the cafe that always smelt like cookies and old textbooks. In a span of twenty seconds and a trickle of tears, she would forget all his wrongdoings, forgive all his mistakes.
For those twenty seconds, they were the richest strugglers.
The mind played wicked tricks.
And though her heart never stopped making a fool of her, under the thousand eyes of the night, it finally dawned on her- she had no way out.
Each morning, she would feel the illusion she held onto so desperately, slipping from her clutches, the same circle of day and night screwing with her senses.
Monotony had found a way in, and she couldn’t have been more vulnerable to it.
She knew now, that he was more than a person in the past- he lived now, in the lipstick she wore, the coffee she drank.
It was a hellish paradise, a heavenly hell.
She cherished every second of it.