Thiago Matos from Pexels
I remember your smile next to mine, twisting upwards to reach that sunny squint silently sitting in your irises. I remember the twinkle behind the seaside of sepia, a tease of what would come—what resiliently remained within you.
I remember it, I swear.
You smelled of those days when you questioned the world in front of me like a flower flirting with the idea of something more. I wish I would have bottled it. Broken or not, I would take the bitter bites of glass to pour it out once more—to smell the mix of life and love so chaotically crashing together before my easily enchanted eyes.
This mess of life was the neverending nucleus neoterically narrating our time; nothing was lonesomely linear as I followed you—fawned over you—in hopes of being entwined in the taunting tales told from that smile of dreams.
I wanted to be in those dreams of yours. I wanted so hopelessly to hide away with you, to feel what you felt, as I was lost in the uncertainty of it all because you—you were the only certain my soul sought.
Blanketed by the blight of your stirring shadows, I let you take the stage in the musical of me. I let you belt and bleed and behave and belong and betray and blame for everyone in that detached audience of mine as if you were me.
I let you be me, and I liked it.
Beneath the lucifer lies and angelic agony of it all, I enjoyed it. A second voice in my head, a second smile to see, a second person of it all—I enjoyed it.
You traipsed as if the world owed you a favor, as if the flowers bloomed for just you to write poisonous poetry about their sickly sweet saccharine smells; you emerged from the garden of broken being with laughs for the masses. You came and went with an uncontained confidence, an unrivaled rapture, all without a sole stumble.
And when you came to me, when you bewitchingly whispered to me, I fell after your fateful footsteps fishing for those feelings found in you.
I followed and followed and followed you. Shadows or stage, I followed, for you were always a better me. You were the me everyone wanted.
You were the me I wanted, and you were the me I had.
So, each night, I ceremoniously sat in front of the mirror untroubled. I serenely smiled into the oval mirror, and when I knew who was there, I would see your smile sinisterly staring back at me, hiding your next move under my mask of naive ecstasy.
And I never knew I was naive; I never thought of myself as wide-eyed or doe-like. I thought I was smart, cunning almost, as I had you run the production of me. You acted for me—were me—and dare I say you were the one they actually loved.
But you were the smart one, and you were a subtle yet shrewd snake slyly slipping lies into my simple mind—my desperate, needing mind.
Then when I needed you the most, you escaped through that mirror.
No warning, no notice, no goodbye. You snuck away, and you left. You left me. You left everyone who adored you, not me. You were the better me; you knew me, and you still left. You left my smile standing alone in the mirror—I remember that.
I wanted that smile back—I still want you back—so I fought. I fought to reach you, to have you again, because there was still a show to go on. There was still an audience. There was still me.
But there was no you anymore, so I fought.
I brought my furious fist forward, screaming painfully against the mirror—screaming painfully against all the lies you had left that had branded my hurting heart. And fighting forcefully, it came crashing down.
The mirror shattered into a million different shards of our story. It was the mirror that we had both grinned into, greeting life together each day. It was the mirror that showed who you were—who I was, living this double life.
When you left, that mirror shattered, and I shattered too with only my bleeding hands, bleeding heart, bleeding mind to blame.
Even though you left—even though I left myself—the sun still set, and it rises again tomorrow.