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by Tanza

I Don't Like Love Anymore

As she became weaker, her breath was much harder to hear. I had never felt the need to sit and listen to the sound of her breathing before. Now, it seemed like the most important thing in my life. I needed to hear her breathing. Every sound she made was precious now. Every slight movement she made caused me to react by stroking her hand, her face and her hair. I had often imagined how it would be. I'd often sat and thought about what I'd do when the time came. Now, it was that time. I was living the moments I had dreaded. As I held her hand, it felt heavier than before. She turned her head from one side to another, as if she was trying to look for something. I was there, right in front of her, but she was looking round me and into the room. Each time she caught sight of my face, her eyes locked on to mine for just a few magical seconds and then away again. As she drifted off into a sleepy daze, I knew I was losing her. I knew we had just moments left to be together as two people very much in love.

My mind began to flick back and forth through my memories as I tried so hard to balance the time I remembered spending with her with the time we'd spent apart. I felt cheated as the latter quickly and substantially outweighed the former. I wanted so badly to go back in time and reclaim all those pointless days, hours, minutes and seconds we could have shared. I wanted to fill each of them with happiness, passion and love. I wanted to give them all back to her right now to make up for wasting them so flippantly on other people and on myself. I could have given her so much more instead of denying her so much, but it was too late. How dare it be too late? How dare it!?

As her breath became weaker, mine weighed heavier on my chest. As she lessened her grip on my hand, mine tightened on hers. I found myself staring into her face in the hope I could absorb every last drop of life and keep it forever as it fought against me to leave her body. As her pain halved, halved and halved again, mine doubled, tripled and quadrupled at a raging pace. I wanted to feel something from her. I needed some sort of reassurance that I would be okay with out her. I willed for even these very last moments to go on forever. I didn't want them to end. I would have gladly sat there, by her side, for the rest of my life if it meant keeping her. As her beautiful face released her final shallow breath, I inhaled deeply, trying my very best to keep my lungs full of what I imagined to be the very last living part of her I would ever experience. It was no good. I had to exhale and, with that long and lonely breath, I knew I had finally lost everything. She was gone and, because of that, my life would always be empty. Her absence from each and every new and fresh experience would make them boring and unnecessary.

Neither of us were ready to let go. We were still so in love and so committed. There can never be any closure for me. Who knows what might have happened in the future if she hadn't been taken from me so early in our relationship. Maybe, we would have grown apart as a couple. Eventually, we may have despised each other and parted after a long and spiteful divorce. Then, there would have been closure. Then, I would have just heard of her death from someone else and been able to pass comment on the event. Look at me, debating as to whether it is better to have lost her while we were still deeply in love, or whether it would have been far easier for me if we'd had an awful falling out and ended it all beforehand. I know I'm only trying to find ways to lessen my pain and talk myself out of being sad for the rest of my life. The truth is, I know I will never stop loving her. I loved her right up to the end and no amount of speculation as to what might have happened in our future can ever change that.

Now I see why some people make the decision to remain alone for the rest of their lives. Never again will I assume that all reclusive old women or men have chosen to live that way for years out of selfishness or because nobody wants them. I will not assume their hardened outer shell has developed through bitterness and spite. I will consider it might be because they are trying to keep their heart as hidden as possible so it can never be crushed by grief again. I see things more clearly now. I can imagine the fear they might feel. A fear that stops them from putting themselves in a position where they might fall in love so deeply again. I feel that fear. I'm scared that, if I love again, I can be hurt again. I don't like love anymore and I don't want anyone to love me. I couldn't bear the thought they might, one day, lose me and be left as I have been left. I am empty and alone. Now I know what being alone in a crowd really means. Yes, I am surrounded by so many friends and I laugh excessively to show them all that I'm through the worst and looking forward. Yet, I see and hear nothing except my own heart telling me I am not. Every packed restaurant is empty. Every crowded town centre is empty. It doesn't matter where I look, I never see the one face I would give anything to see again. Her absence burns into me relentlessly.

I try to convince myself that building a future with another woman will help me to forget my loss. I have so much love still to give, but nothing can ever take the place of a love that was so perfect. Ours was a love that was still fresh and unspoiled and, no matter how much I try to convince myself I can ever be as happy with someone else, I know in the depths of my heart and the very core of my soul that I would want her back in a second if given the chance. No matter who I allow into my heart and no matter who I have chosen to marry and spend the rest of my life with, she will always be my wife. She is my wife.

© Tanza 2011


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