You know the feeling well. The hollowness, emptiness, the void you want to escape. The seat next to you, indented with the shape of their body. The calendar filling up, every second packed to drown out the darkness harrowing the pit of your stomach. The night they walked away, how it consumed you. The memories flashed by — a life of you when you were a union, alive together. A dark hole takes their place in the sheets, swallowed you with the nights.

You don’t remember what it was like to be happy. Was it ever possible?

It was like swallowing the devil himself. Your body tries to detoxicate, expel him from the system. But it can’t be cleansed, the devil lives in darkness, and your stomach has become his home.

You think about all the possible ways this could’ve been avoided. Every decision you’ve made to love them, at each step, the love ran deeper. The memories you created, now haunting you like old photos in an abandoned hallway. If only you hadn’t chosen to pose for those photos, go on those walks, share those meals. If only you had been alone, this hallway would be empty. Fresh walls.

But it couldn’t have been done.

You wouldn’t have wanted it to be done.

You don’t want it to be done.

Because those memories, haunting as they are, are marks of you, their backgrounds painted with your love. And hanging on the wall now, are pieces of your heart, suspended in time.

For all of you, who’s woken up in the dark night, troubled by memories of our past lovers: You are brave and beautiful for having opened your heart, knowing the depth of the pain that comes with love.

For spreading love and connecting our hearts is the most beautiful part of our humanity. Connected hearts that are no longer intimately entwined does not make the love untrue. Love has been and always will be in you, and will always be around the corner.

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