In the days that followed after he’d left her in a crumpled heap at the train station, X sat in the living room of her apartment still wearing the same clothes. The mascara around her eyes was there too, albeit smudged and smeared to hell so that she looked like the saddest panda you’d ever have the misfortune to see. She didn’t move from her chair. She didn’t speak, nor did she eat. She just sat there staring at the wall above the TV. When she slept, she curled into a ball without comfort of blanket or cushions, and when she went to the bathroom, she did so without thinking. She drank a little water, but again, without opinion or thought. Looking at that wall, she didn’t feel sad as such, she just felt numb. There were emotions and ideas that jumped back and forth between her head and her heart, but nothing she could grasp with any sense of clarity. So she sat there in silence, semi-comatose and gone to the world. On the fourth day, her belly moaned and groaned, and the clothes she’d been wearing were beginning to smell ripe, but not even that could shake her from the funk from which she had slipped into. The phone rang a few times. And on one occasion her mother had knocked at the door and called out her name. Her mother had been quite persistent and had demanded she come out, but in the end, had grown weary at her only daughter’s reluctance to show her face and had promptly left. On the fifth day, she got up around midday and walked over to the window. Outside, there was a clear blue sky. It was cold but sunny. People were going about their lives the same way they always had, but for X, all she could see was a world where she didn’t belong. It was as if she had somehow slipped from her own time and place into some alternate reality. On the surface, it looked so similar, but she couldn’t shake the idea that she wasn’t meant to be in this place at all. Somewhere out there was a world she called home, but this wasn’t it. Standing there with her hands gripping the curtain, she shook her head to an audience of no one, and as the seconds turned to minutes and life passed her by, so the tears rolled down her cheeks. They rolled until they poured, and then there was no stopping them at all.
A Journal for Damned Lovers UK
A Journal for Damned Lovers US
I totally get this. I loved the line, “Looking at that wall, she didn’t feel sad as such, she just felt numb.” I guess because I’ve been there before. Maybe we all have.
Thank you! I’m delighted that it touched you, and in particular that line. Sometimes, there’s nothing worse than feeling numb. Even when you feel pain, at least you know you’re capable of feeling something x
Despite the fact that I’m a ‘he’ I feel this Soo often
It’s reassuring that you do. These moments can break us, and yet they can also make us
The numb part was my favourite too. And the not belonging. It’s how it feels.
I agree. Reading this was like stepping back in time for me. The only difference was that I left my house, because I had to pretend I was functioning, even if I wasn’t really.
Trust me, I know.
Going back over such times is so strange. Strange to see how we reacted in those situations, and strange how we view them in hindsight tooday x