Sunday, 22 May 2016

Statues

























You cannot see Lady Liberty’s feet, but if you look closely she is actually standing between a broken shackle and chains. With her right foot raised, she leaves behind the oppression of the past.
Some time ago, we held our heads high with empty eyes and we looked away from each other. Somehow, we had become statues of the people we used to be, tall and dignified like monuments watching over old cities. You were as cold as the weather that day, and I noticed that your face was sharp and broken. My mouth was pink and bitten, stained with leftover lipstick.

I stared out of the window, focused on the branches silhouetted against a wide lilac sky. The winter had been heavy and tedious, and they said it was meant to snow that day.

Two hours later, there was no sign of the storm. 

You flicked on the kettle and I waited for words to boil.

Tea, one sugar.


I remember staring at my hands, aware that they had been this way before. This was a symptom of the disease, and you were the indication of my fall. I always retreated to you in crisis, but I knew it wasn't real this time.

It wasn't long before frustration took control, and lips were laced with white lies. I had never been cruel to you before, but I wanted to hurt you this time around. I'm not sure if I did any long term damage, just enough to make you wince.

As my friend you brought out the better of me, which included the parts I had once left forgotten. As anything other than that, you had a tendency to throw me away in the dark. This time I knew you better than before. We had secrets locked in cold stares and smirks, and our history held the keys.

We remembered our place, and adjusted ourselves.We sat with distance between bodies, leaving enough space to conceal the chemicals frozen between us. My hands were still on my lap, and I looked down at them.
"How did we get here?"

We traced the lines of our paths, like faint creases in palms. We were once something, then nothing. Who knew what time would mean for us.

We were used to games, but this wasn't cat and mouse anymore. We were locked in a lyrical bond, and all we had to do was walk away. This was unrehearsed dialogue, and difficult to perform.

You were about to lose something true, someone that you needed in your life. You'd play it down and dismiss my importance. "I'll live", you told me. Maybe, probably. You would miss me.

You started to act like the demons that lived inside your head, and you calculated the risks. You were filtered by your imitation of an enemy, covered by your mask of a martyr. You were trying to fool me, to scare me into thinking I was wrong about you. I assume that you thought it would make it easier.

"I don't want to hurt you"

I wanted you to admit that you cared, even with the ending being the same every time.

"The connection we have is unique, I don't quite have that with anyone else."

We were sculpted like monuments, and you used the windows in your crown to inspect incoming threats. You stood on your own island, removed from the people you used to want, or wanted to love. You were a spectator of life around you. Neither of us could prevent the cracks in the stone.

"I know what you want me to say."
"No, you don't."

I said things to hurt you, so I could prove that I mattered somehow. I was so used to the steel glare in your eye, that I couldn't help but notice when it broke. It was for a second, but vulnerability flashed across your face, like headlights at midnight. This was just another case of unfinished business coming to its ugly conclusion.

I'd glance at you and watch as you tried to spar with me without execution. We tried to protect ourselves, aware that there would never be a winner, not without some cruelty. Both of us regained our grace. You were always statuesque to me, and I would look from a distance as you grew taller, more regal with age.

That night, you were careful not to touch anything. You kept a safe distance. After all, if you break it you buy it. I still had some fight left in me, but you let me argue with myself. Even after all this time, you couldn't give me what I wanted.

I wanted closure, the kind that would clear the stickiness of the air. I'd ask you one last time, and we'd never speak of it again.

We weren't hidden between old purple sheets or in the undiscovered corners of coffee shops. We had no where to hide.

You got what you wanted, didn't you?

Even with the safety of our old routine, you couldn't give me the ending I deserved. This time I walked away without looking back. This time, it was my footsteps in the acoustics of magnolia hallways. For once, I was the one to skip out on goodbye. There was something finite about it, something stubborn and blue.

We didn't know where to go from here, but we knew it was the end of our epilogue. There was grace in our exchange, a clear admission of defeat. They said it was supposed to snow that day, and it never did. We changed our history, and we broke the sky.