I don’t do things by half- three all consuming loves in my mere handful of years as an adult, each shorter in length than the one before but becoming progressively more certain. During the recovery after each breakup, it has always been music which has healed me. Whether it is a cathartic emotional release from the song which I listened to just before the conversation (or in one case text message) or the lyrics I connect to months later, when I’ve stopped crying and started to function again, there is always a song which reminds you of what you’ve lost. And when I realise the loss isn’t much of a loss at all the songs become a favourite, for reminding me of the rebuilding.
‘Shadows settle on the place that you left‘ – Youth, Daughter
We are 15 and talking on the landline. You are in a cottage in Wales, I am in my dining room. As you say goodbye you rush out the words ‘I love you’ and I’m so surprised I yell ‘thank you’ and hang up the phone.
5 years later you tell me you met a girl in a club who you now want to be your girlfriend, and the promises we made two months ago when I spent a blissful week in London were to be rescinded. You did it by phone again, but I don’t have a chance to yell ‘thank you’ when I reply to your text. However a lapse in judgement does not stop us returning years later, to a different, albeit deep rooted, love where we wish each other well in our endeavours and we spend boxing days together in which we team up to take on our parents at Trivial Pursuit.
‘I thought that this would last for a million years, but now I need to go‘- Dark Bird Is Home, Tallest Man On Earth
I’m 21 and in your bed. In three hours I turn 22, and I’m drifting off to sleep. You refer back to a conversation we had earlier where I stopped and stumbled over three words which nearly fell out of my mouth. It was too early, I decided, but as I drifted off to sleep I reply to your question with a ‘Yes, I was going to tell you I love you, because I do.’
Three years later and I’m in hospital. You tell me that you still love me but no one will ever be able to be with me, twelve hours after I’ve just tried to end a battle with myself. It reminds me of the first time you left, at the coffee shop in which your parents told you it would be best to do it in. Months later you tell me you treated me awfully- I agree and we never revisit the emotional disaster which was us. I fall out of love with you when I fall into my next love.
‘This ship has sailed and left me stranded; I have to say that’s not how I planned it’– Fortune Favours the Brave, Come On Gang!
My stomach is full of Rioja and my heart is full of you. After a long night wandering medieval Spanish streets we fall into bed together, relishing in the heat of the long night. It’s cringeworthy really, as the words fall out of your mouth into my ear as we fuck. I knew much earlier, but also knew I had to wait for you to come to me first.
Months later I’m sat on your sofa waiting for you to finish in the shower. You’ve just told me that you don’t actually think you love me, and I’m waiting for the explanation which you are formulating as you wash. I find out that again I’m incapable of being with, but you tell me that it is your issue, which I’m finally starting to believe. You tell me I am wonderful, so much so that the problem cannot lie with me. But the love was never really there for you, yet I imagine it’ll always remain with me, however faintly.
Written as part of Smutathon 2018– a fundraiser for Abortion Support Network. Donate below, enter the raffle and follow the conversation on Twitter under the hashtags #Smutathon2018 and #SmutForChoice.