Words just don’t cover it sometimes. My mind, though, sometimes wanders in circles, round and round and round, somehow ending up on you. It is mostly at night, when it’s cold and raining outside, during the time you would have been more than merely an idea in my head and a few words at the tip of my tongue.

I don’t talk about you because, well, what is there to say? How do I put into words the emotions that overcome me during those moments? And why ruin them by letting them be touched by the opinions of others? They are for me. Those tiny, yet at the same time phenomenally huge, moments shared between the two of us.

They’ve stopped asking me about you. It’s as if you were just as much part of their own minds, a ghost of a person that came and went on cold nights, one which you thought you might have seen or heard but then logic says that it never really existed. They can’t stand to see me cringe when I have to say your name. And why poke at a fire that has gone out by speaking of how it came to burn everything in its path? That’s the nature of wildfires anyway; as soon as they’re under control and put out, there may be talk of how they started and the destruction they caused in their wake, but when nature and time take their course, and life starts in that spot anew, there is no reason to go on speaking about the results of something done and over.

It is not with nostalgia and longing that I remember you. My thoughts are not sugar coated and dripping love and adoration as they once were. But I do not hate you anymore, either. The memories I have, the things I think about when I am quiet, whether it is something you once said that at the time made my heart skip a beat, whether it was the knife you ended up twisting in my heart, have all been burned to ash.

The smoke from that bonfire is all that is left. And as smoke from the tip of a cigarette, even if the thoughts were to leave my mouth as words, they would dance in the air for a bit and then dissolve into nothing.

No, I don’t talk about you anymore. And it has nothing to do with anyone else. Your name is not spoken and your image has been sent away to the deepest darkest depths of hell. And maybe that is what they mean when they say that heaven and hell are here, on this earth, in every moment that we live every day. I got mere glimpses of heaven, too sacred to discuss, and I’ve felt the burn of hell right down to my core, at some point too painful to utter a single word about.

Now everything is just there. Not sweet, not painful; just there.

Like the scar tissue that covers a deep cut that took time to heal. A scar I got playing a knife game I had no idea how to play – or even the reason behind why I was playing it in the first place. Like those fire and sword jugglers at carnivals. They play with things normal sane people are afraid of; because the danger behind it all is prominent and a certainty. Yet, everyone stands mesmerized, staring at the tricks they do.

And I decided, for once in my life, to be daring; to jump in the ring with you, who knew the game and how it was played, and to get my own little hit of the adrenaline rush that came with the danger at hand. But I was no good at the game you taught me; I got burned, and cut; more times than I can count.

I can see the scar, I remember how I got it. Ι remember the way the steel was cold and hard against my skin, as you played with the way it felt; the blade in your hand against me. And when it did finally cut into my skin I did not shout out, I did not say a word even then. Tears ran down my cheeks of their own volition and I did nothing to stop those. Because tears are words unspoken, pain unrevealed and when you are overcome by it all they run freely.

When it was all done and over, I remember how you said that my tears were an overreaction; you called it “waterworks” and you stated calmly and coolly that when you play knife games, you know beforehand, that at some point, you’re going to get cut and it’s childish to cry about it afterwards.

Day by day you’re in my thoughts even less. I’ve buried that knife in a drawer and only when I come across it by chance do I even remember it. And since my eyes have stopped watering, I suppose there are no more words, for or about you, trapped in my mind. No, I don’t talk about you anymore. Besides, you summed it up quite well – I’ll give you that: When you play with sharp objects, you’re going to get cut. Why cry about it when you do?

So then, why discuss the knife?

Author: Nikól Peri

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