“Everybody knows that the war is over. Everybody knows that the good guys lost.” – Sigrid
She felt the walls around her collapse, her eyes refused to dry, her lips could not stop quivering, and she was unable to move. So, she sat on the floor, her back against the bathroom door and cried as she read over and over the text her boyfriend’s sister had sent. She felt numb, and in pain at the same time. The tears wouldn’t stop, and she just could not gather enough strength to text back. This wasn’t possible. He wouldn’t leave her like this.
How could he?
They had just spoken an hour ago. He had told her things that he had never said before, and one of those things was that he loved her. And it felt like he meant it. She had believed him and so she had spent the time after, just smiling and thinking of him. The days ahead seemed to be happy, because she thought he would be with her. Now, everything was dark. She did not know what she would do when she could move, and she did not know if she would move. Her heart was beating but she didn’t feel alive.
She closed her eyes and saw him standing near the elevator, a smile on his lips on the day she had first seen him. He was looking at her and had no intention of keeping it a secret. She remembered him walking up to her and telling her that she was beautiful. He made it sound like something she could believe in. And so that day, when she stood in front of the mirror and looked at herself, she saw that she was. It was a new feeling, and it made her feel warm and loved.
She opened her eyes as the image of his smile burned through the tears, and made the pain unbearable. She read the text again. Was this really it? She knew she would not love any other guy the way she had loved him. She heard his voice, a low whisper of the past, telling her he loved her too. And that made it possible for her to get up. She had to see him. She somehow stood up, and saw the mess she had become in the mirror above the sink. Her eyes wet with black mascara smeared around it.
She started the tap, and water gushed out which she cleaned her face with. Tears still fell as she washed her face. And so she gave up. She closed the tap, and fumbled to open the door. Her hands were shivering, and her veins felt like ice was flowing through them. She put on a jacket even though it was sunny outside. As she walked out, she read the message one last time before she put the phone in her pockets and turned the cold knob on the main door. She knew he had cancer, but no.
She’s okay. She survived. But her old-self did not. She has a smile that doesn’t reach her eyes, and words that mean nothing. She keeps everyone who loves her at a ‘safe distance’. She is still fighting in a war that had been lost months ago.
“That’s the trouble with humans; we never see when the war has ended.” – Erin Van Vuren
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