It was dark, and wet and miserable, which suited me perfectly. I drove with a friend through the familiar streets, and I tried for light hearted gossip even though we both knew that I was angsting. We peered at letterboxes, trying to figure out how close we were. Three . . . Five . . Nine? Did we miss it? I pull over, and get out.
I walk down to Seven, and stand in the driveway.
It looks like a nice enough place, an ugly villa in semi-good nick, and there are lights on. His cars not there, though. It's Wednesday, so he's probably at netball. I frown a little (it still irks that he's still playing netball with MY team. I insisted, at the time, that I leave instead of he, and now it just seems silly that I did). Still, it's good that he's not here, I didn't want to run into him anyway.
I hold the mail that's not mine and eye the letter box, and I'm torn. If I leave these here, then please please please let this be the end of this, please stop bothering me with details he should have already taken care of, please get out of my life. And then the other side, if I leave the letters here, there will be no more reasons to send an email, to talk, if just about nothing, no reasons to connect . . . and I miss him.
I stop myself before I can get further with that thought. I don't need the past.
That particular past is a bit like a cigarette. It's bad for you, and it makes your breath and hair and clothes smell, and you get that horrible smokers cough. And everyone gets down on you for smoking, they do, because its disgusting and bad for you, and you know it, and they know it. But you crave the nicotine, so you smoke the cigarettes anyway. You feel relief, but its dirty, and tastes bad.
He was like that. Encourgaging horrible behaviour and disparaging remarks and a miserable, lonely existence.
I don't need that past. I don't want that past.
I drop the letters in the box, and walk away, quickly, back to the car out of the rain.
We drive on, and I spent the rest of the night in good company, with friends who are brilliant and make me laugh. With boys who like me, and tell me so. With people who bring out the best in me, not the worst. With people who would rather hold me up, than let me fall. With people who care about me. People who actually care.
I'm learning to let go, slowly. And its hard. But I wish I didn't have to learn. I wish I already had.