The Silence

This post is part of Write Your Ass Off April, a Twenties Unscripted 10-Day Writing Challenge #WYAOApril. Today’s prompt: Spill.

I don’t remember what happened. It was inconsequential, the kind of thing that no one noticed but me. But it was hilarious. And I knew it was the kind of thing you’d appreciate. I was halfway through the text before I remembered I couldn’t send it.

This part is The Silence. And it’s the part I hate. 

When the world feels like it’s been carved open wide, a chasm running between you and someone you used to know. The unlearning of including them in your day even though it feels second nature. Finding distraction when you feel the need to say things you may as well shout into the wind. When the rhythm of your whole day feels off because it’s not punctuated by hearing from them and you have to manage to find your footing somehow. When they may as well have been flung to the moon, they feel so far from whatever it was you used to inhabit.

You live in The Silence now. In here, there’s only distance.

Like most temporary things, it gets better, of course. To be clear, The Silence is most often forever, but it eventually becomes a dull ache from the sharp break it started as. And eventually, you won’t feel it at all. It will just become What Is.

But you have to get there. You have to inhale every minute of every sleepless night and swallow them down on top of the words you don’t get to say until you feel you might burst. You have to sort through the thoughts that bubble up when you aren’t expecting them, even when you have nowhere to put them. And you have to arrive out the other side, somehow healed and whole though something you once thought was tattooed on your life has been washed away. 

If you’re me, the only way to get through The Silence is to smother it. To counteract every what if with a reminder that it ain’t. I delete all the pictures and the texts. Eventually the contact info altogether. I find something else to do with the time I took such great effort to carve out for you to exist in. I set about the work of forgetting the inside jokes and the places we’ve been and the intimacies I wish I’d kept to myself. I mentally open the box where I store All The Little Things About You, and dump them at the curb, letting the elements and time do to memory what I cannot force. You are a specter looming in my days, and I smother it until dies.

I work to forget you, and eventually I will. It is the kind of thing I have grown good at. Forgetting the details, forgetting the feelings, until they are so gone it’s almost like I never knew them at all. I will get there.

But now, I am in The Silence. And so are you. But I’m here alone. 

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