Have you ever truly had your heart broken?

I have. My heart has been ripped in two more than once. It’s been ripped out and stamped on and peppered with broken glass. It’s not always a love interest, that’s the weird thing. I think some people believe that when you’re with someone and they go away, then that’s having their heart broken, but it’s probably not. That’s sad, yes. Depending on the relationship, it may tear your heart out, but, more often than not, it’s the idea of being with that person, and what it now means to be alone until the next thing comes along and then you heal.

Healing is the key.

Having your heart broken never heals. It never gets fixed. You paper over it but the paper becomes dated and old and worn and it tears and things aren’t ever quite the same again.

There’s a couple of parts of my heart that are truly broken. They’ll never really recover. There’s cracks there that I don’t mind the world seeing, but a couple of cracks that I don’t really want to show anyone. Those are mine and I don’t think there’s anyone that will ever understand.

There’s a loneliness I can’t shake. I get glimpses of what it will be like to not be alone, but I can’t hold on to those things. They flit by me, passing like the headlights of a car across my wall through the blinds, just that moment of illumination then it’s gone.

I don’t think having your heart broken means what everyone seems to think it means. It’s losing something you’ll never get back and you can never, ever replace.

Things hurt. Things hurt bad. I’ve had lots of hurt in my life. But there are things that have left a part of my soul broken and dark and what are you supposed to do with that? What do you do with those things?

The end of March and the beginning of April are difficult Months for me. This took me by surprise, although I knew it was coming.

New memories. New connections. Love of many kinds, and moments, stolen. These are the things that get you through. These are the things that make everything seem brighter and more worthwhile. Suddenly you remember that you forgot that your heart had been broken. It’s still broken, it’s still bleeding, but it doesn’t matter as much any more.

I sometimes forget the pain.  I sometimes forget and it feels good.  I want to forget and I’d like somebody to understand and be there in the convoluted ways that I want.  At times I see the potential for that to happen and those times pass like so many strands of hair beyond the eye of the storm.

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His eyes dropped as she withdrew the knife.  He mumbled.

“I’m sorry?”, she asked.  ”You keep slurring your fucking words.  How am I supposed to understand a word you’re saying?”.

He looked up at her, a glint of hope in his eye.  ”You’d better know where to put that knife, Chereen.  This needs to end now.  There can’t be any do-overs, no repeats, nothing.  This is now or never.”

His eyes became calm, serene, hopeful.  ”Once you’ve done this, it’s over.  Things will be very, very different, however this turns out.  This will change the course of history.  This will change everything.  I hope you know what you’re doing.  If you fuck this up….”

The words hung in the air, like pregnant clouds on a cold, crisp morning. They were heavy, he didn’t need the threat.  He didn’t need to voice it.  She knew.  She always knew.  She knew what he was capable of, what he’d seen.

Chereen lowered the knife.  ”Tell me about your Dad”  she said, suddenly.  No aggression, not a question, just a statement.  A gentle order.  ”Tell me about him.”

”Not much to tell.  He grew up in Prestwich, my Granddad had a newsagents there.  After my Grandma died, they lived together for a while, he must have been, I don’t know… twenty or so?  They just pissed each other off, the old world meets the new world, you know?   So my Dad moved out.  Moved down to London, got a job selling second-hand cars.  He met my Mum when he was about twenty-five,”  He looked up at this point, met her eyes.  They were soft and watery.  ”Same age as I am now.  She drove him into the ground.  I know she’s my Mum, but…. well, you know.  She’s a cunt.  You know that.  I don’t know why he stayed with her as long as he did.  I’m surprised he didn’t kill her.  I knew he wanted to.  I saw it in his eyes.  She was screaming at him one day, in our front room.  She had her back to the window.  She was yelling at him about some woman he was friends with, but the guy went straight to work, came straight home.  He talked to my Mum all day, too, even when he should have been working.  But she still yelled at him, screaming at him that he was fucking some woman.  I was right there.  I was….”  He stopped, and looked down.

”Listen, I know we’ve had our problems, even in this short time, but I’ve never seen anything like this since.  It was like a horror movie or something.  It felt like that bit where the survivors have escaped the zombies, but another survivor has them pinned down, they’re left with no hope and the music is all tense and stuff…  it was like that.  I couldn’t do anything.  But I saw him.  I saw his eyes.  He wanted to ram her head through that window.  I don’t know how he stopped himself.  But he did.  In the face of all that, he stopped himself.  She was spiteful, she spat out nasty things about his family, about his dead mother.  She resented everyone he was associated with, and that killed me.  And now this.  Now you.  I always promised myself I’d never end up with anyone like my Mum, and I did.  Everything goes in circles”

He stood up.  ”Let me go.”

There was no begging, no pleading.  But something had changed in her, however fleeting.  Her eyes softened, and she put the knife back in the drawer.  ”Have you ever wanted to kill me?” she asked.
”Yes.”
”And why didn’t you?”  A tear rolled down her face.
”Because I’m better than you.”

He walked out of the kitchen.  ”I have my key.  I’ll let myself in tomorrow to get my things while you’re at work.”  As he stepped out of the front door, he looked back, and she was sat on a stool, slumped over, a tiny, dejected figure.  He was tempted to go back and console her, just like he’d always done.  He didn’t love her.  He didn’t even like her very much, but she had this draw, something that wasn’t sexual, or romantic, or even based on friendship.  She knew how to manipulate, and control.  And that power poured from every part of her, she didn’t even have to make a conscious effort any more.

He took a deep breath, and gripped the door handle.

The door closed, and his chest felt light.