Piece by piece I removed my soul and arranged it in the shape of a man in front of her. It’s fragile, I said, and worn. Please take care of it. ‘Forever,’ she said, ‘but first things first, lets put you back together.’ She set to rearrange the pieces then and place them back inside, making me whole again in new and unexpected ways. It is perfect now, I said, but she just shook her head. ‘It was always perfect, love, you just needed to see it for yourself.’ I embraced her then, finally comfortable to be simply myself.
I tell her I feel like the inferior pillow. Casual, she says, ‘What now?’ You know, the other pillow on the bed that get’s used for everything but cradling your head. The fucking shit pillow, taint and pit mashed into shapes to fit. That’s how I feel in all this, like you’ve decided I’m the one who should mould my skin to suit and should never want appreciation for it. ‘Come here,’ she says, pulling me to her chest. As she strokes my hair I can feel myself soften, supple in supplication. ‘Calm down, isn’t that a bit melodramatic?’
I keep thinking I’ll just be able to go home. I’ll open the door and she’ll be smiling at me. We’ll hold hands and talk about nothing like we used to, it’ll be easy, we’ll lock eyes and laugh. Later we’ll watch some rubbish cinema, I’ll lay my head in her lap and she’ll pat me absentmindedly while I let myself drift. The years will be a comfort that we share in, its lightness and its strength wrapped around us both. I can still feel it, refusing to be absent, and I keep forgetting what I no longer have.