Till Hell Do Us Apart

It’s a very old story, the most ancient of all. The letting go, the inevitable break up of what two people thought they built, a relationship, a child of their love and affection for each other. At the end of it you hope to shake hands, or not, or perhaps you shake each other and dirt falls off from all your pockets and none of you look the same. It’s a careful separation, thought out and deliberate even if the truck came out of nowhere, even if the truck carried flowers and only wanted to give them to you. It hurts, it still is part of your skin even if it’s peeling off of someone else’s body.
On a particularly cold night, you see it, how it doesn’t add up anymore, how you think of love and you want to pull it out of your teeth and flush it down your drain because what’s the fucking point of it if he isn’t with you in the depths of it, in its dark, dirty and cruel bottom of it. He asks you what is this ‘it’ anyway , and you say fuck off because you are angry that love is easy for him, you are angry because he doesn’t know a bottom exists and you want him to, you want him to boil in this, burn his skin in this, drown in the hell of what it means to love another person. So you refuse to explain, refuse to hold his hands, turn your face from him and stay angry. On another morning you are seething love from your skin and it’s all over the floor and he isn’t there to clean it up, and you wonder what that means, I did it for him I did it for him you sob while you clean the mess with a cotton cloth. And then you squeeze whatever love is left out on the cloth into a glass, a jar, not too much , not too less, just enough for him to understand, neatly packed and labelled, ‘I love you’. You hit send and spend the rest of the evening hiding the traces of spills and leaks.
By this time I didn’t like looking in the mirror, I looked like a lesser person of myself, reminded me of days spent cleaning the mess from the floor of what we called “our love” before you came home. By this time I’m frantically going through all my journals, trying to find the summer I fell in love, find a line of poetry that will help me remember what it felt like to love without the chaos but every line sounds like infatuation, and lust, perhaps just a child holding someone else’s affection in her palms and calling it love , there is no hint of depth, or the madness that was about to come. But slowly, in between walking alone to lectures on cold winter mornings, and watching my mother sob, and listening to my baby sister talk about a boy. I realised we have been loving each other across a wall, our hells, on different sides . I realised only and only by luck can two people find themselves in the same hell, cleaning the same floor of love , sitting next to each other. I realised while you were in your bottom of hell I was in mine, and neither of us knew. And that was the truth. There’s a certain relief in it, to say it, after years of hoping and even pretending that we were on same side of the wall when we weren’t even in the same hell of love.– journal; Till Hell Do Us Apart by Thamanna Razak

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