For memories

Subject: For memories
Date: 30 Jun 2017

Little things sometimes take on an almost symbolic quality; I've found that even the smallest of objects can hold such intense and detailed memories.
The oxo cubes in the cupboard remind me of all those times when we were slightly hard up for money, and so I'd make us chicken noodle soup out of them; there's one left now, skulking at the back, and as I cleaned the cupboard out earlier, I just stood for an hour, looking at it. Remembering all those times we'd sit down during the winter, bowls on lap on that grotty sofa, huddled up close together and watching The Simpsons on your iPad. Those winter evenings when it didn't matter how horrible our flat was, we'd just turn the lights down and focus on each other. Back when we used to make each other happy.
I know you told me to go and see someone the last time we spoke. I haven't, and I'm sorry. I thought this was going to get easier, that keeping myself numbed from drinking myself to unconsciousness every night would be enough to get me through. I wish I could call you, tell you how much I still love you, even now, but I know you've blocked my number. I guess I was right after all in the end, and I was more attached to you than you ever were to me. But that makes sense; after everything that happened between us from last December onwards, I still think you're the most perfect person I've ever met. I know you're never going to read this, and I'm just shouting into the void, but... I don't really have anyone around me to even talk to any more.
I could have handled the pregnancy better. I could've been better, treated you better... But I can't change what's already been done. That little girl is the most amazing, incredible thing I've ever seen, particularly with how fraught the pregnancy was in the first few months. I wish I could see her, and you, again, even just the once to tell you how overwhelmingly sorry I am that things played out the way they did. I don't know why I got that drunk, and I don't know the finer points of what I did, and there's no explaining it away. But I faltered, made a mistake. I'm human, and I changed the second I saw those scans. I changed again when I saw you holding her, and held her myself. And then I changed again when you left me. Recently I haven't had the motivation to do anything worthwhile and stick to it. I'm not drinking now, but that's partly because my health isn't quite as good as I made out before, I just didn't want to alarm you a few days after you'd given birth. I'm bleeding internally fairly badly now so can't drink alcohol, but I care too little to go back to the doctor to actually get it seen to. Again, I'm sorry.
But when I was drinking, I seemed to have this "sweet spot", a place where we were still together; sprawled out on the sofa looking up at the ceiling, reminiscing to myself about that time we went back to stay with your mum, or when your brother came down to stay for a few days. Little things like walking around the city center during the day, or that time we both ducked off from work early because "the baby might be coming", only to have a nice relaxing afternoon back at the flat, eating the leftovers from the Chinese we'd had the night before. I'd remember when we first met, how everything was just... perfect, and how we were close within seconds, and how it was sunny in September. I've always told you that I was tired those first few days, and that's why I didn't talk much, but it's genuinely just because, against all odds, you are the only person in this world who has ever made me feel shy. You have this energy about you, emanating and all-encompassing, and it meant that being around you was unlike anything I've ever felt before, or will ever feel again. I remember that first night in bed, how we sat up talking all night, absolutely wasted, and how you somehow found my musings on Robin Hood being a "total c***" funny.
I remember the first time you told me you loved me.
Then maybe I drink a bit more. The memories start to get a bit less nice now. I remember the time you lost your purse in a bar, and even after I got it back for you, you were absolutely horrible to me the whole night. I remember the time I found out you'd been texting one of your exes behind my back, and how I drank a litre of whisky and shouted the place down. I remember last year, coming into our room, seeing you in tears after a bad phone call with your mum, you telling me you wanted to move away based on it... I remember the arguments, the tension, all of it. So I drink more to block it out of my mind. Then, last thing I remember before I black out, I remember the last words you said to me, before you blocked me out completely...
"I don't want to say it, but... I think I hate you."
Today, two months on, I officially became homeless. Our flat's contract ended, so I've packed up everything and took it to a mutual friend's place, where I'm staying on the sofa until I find somewhere else. I had to clean the entire flat before I left, from top to bottom (kind of like we did in January). It's completely spotless now, wiped clean of every single memory, good or bad, every slight stain on the sofa from those nights we'd eat a little sloppily, the little specks on the bathroom mirror from when you dyed your hair, the little bits of glass from when a bottle got thrown on the floor, all gone. Except for one.
Because as I looked at that little, solitary chicken flavoured oxo cube in the back of the cupboard, and thought about those perfect nights in we'd had together, I couldn't bring myself to throw it away. I've left it for the next tenant to find, a little bit of history, a symbol of how even the most intense and tumultuous love can at times still be a perfect and beautiful thing. But he'll probably just not understand and throw it away.

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