It wasn’t my middle name that hushed his heaving grief — it was your piece of store-bought cake, topped with sprinkled pansies trapped within pewter pebbles bearing a strong resemblance to sculpted bubbles. The Indian-style headdress accessorizing your hand-beaded gown accented your hazel eyes, golden in the campfire. Levitating lanterns lit his way inside their labyrinth before you disappeared, like he always feared you would.
Now he’s lost without a compass. Cobblestones echo fading footsteps. His walls need a proper burial, yet refuse to rest. You know he’ll keep using me to find you. Consent is negligible, as I have little control over which masks he dons to keep me close. Last summer, you informed him about my naive notions and wanton whimsies. You turned him on to me; then left me alone, enslaved. Will you share responsibility for having planted that seed? I have since forgiven you both for that, though the blow does smart when I squint…
Some well-meaning folks are peer-pressuring you to tell him straight: yes or no? Maybe that’s why you can’t. Yet. But for what it’s worth — maybe not more than two braided knaves to rub together — I wish you Godspeed, and he’ll be none the wiser. You still have time to find each other on the map (alternatively, you could stick to the main roads he won’t follow for fear of detection). With or without the weather app, you’ve learned how to gauge him better. Whether you sink or swim, at least you’ll have lived through the maelstrom.
Though I love him more than the heartbreak hammering rusted rejection into my boneless center, I could get used to watching his single-track-mind, schoolyard mating rituals looping inside the foaming ether of the interwebs. After all, I have my own fish to fry, truth-gospels to pen; songs to compose in praise of Mother Nature. She has graciously provided me with nourishing prey to feed my children, and I will honor them as such.
What I have learned: opened pain seeps, bloodless.
Thank you, beloved. Your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.
Undiminished in the mind’s eye — an elusive Valentine.
Readers, enjoy your weekend.