A Time Past Goodbye
Something about the way she said it. A broken window, the fractured geometry of shattered glass. She said I was to leave. I was to be gone by the time that she returned. To take my shit and leave. Those were her words. She didn’t even want to remember that I was here. I wiped morning sleep from fluttering eyes.
“Anything you say.”
I walked around her flat for the last time, collecting up the bits and pieces that had charted our time together. CDs and half read novels like rest stops on an abandoned journey. That one was mine. And that one.
We bought that together, but she never listened to it. So that one was mine too. There were memories attached. I didn’t have enough cash that day, or maybe some other reason. It wasn’t clear, but what the hell. It was mine.
Every corner meant something. There was the bed that we hadn’t left for that weekend. There was the strip of wallpaper that we’d torn off, convinced that maybe we’d get around to decorating this time. Never did, of course. That vase held flowers that had said congratulations and said sorry. The shelves had catalogued our fantasies in DVDs and novels.
It was all memories, all mine.
After I left, after Thomas had come to help me shift the stuff, I started what she would think after she got home. I had stripped the place bare of any stray history. There was nothing left to remember me by, nothing that I couldn’t remove. The carpets where we had sat and chosen holidays. The films we had watched in the dark. The curtains that had hidden out lovemaking from the peeping tom over the way.
I closed the door and dropped my key through the letterbox. Time for a change, that’s what she had wanted. No memories, and all tomorrows. The rough wood of the floorboards that I left behind spelt out my name in big enough letters to frame her new life.