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It was never the same once you left. Try as I might, the subtle hint of your perfume could never lift the gloom that shrouded me always in ways that I could not define, so early on in my new life. My cries permeated the sadness – they were cries for you, but you did not come. You had left with the promise that you would one day return to hold my small hand and look lovingly into my eyes, eyes that spoke a thousand words although the language that I spoke then was somehow not recognised by you, because it was not sophisticated enough to catch your attention. And so I looked for you each day in the air that I breathed, the careless touch of a stranger’s hand, a voice that spoke kindly but was not yours, and when the sunshine of a perfect day met the twilight of an uncertain night, I sank into a deep sleep in which my still simplistic memories rested on a pillow of hope.

You were never the same. How could you be? You had forgotten me, just as I had forgotten you in the intervening years. My cries, no longer cries, but the silence of the rejected, resilient, resourceful soul that I had become. I no longer trusted the part of me which hoped, but instead learned to examine carefully every glance, every look, every touch, even softly spoken words, before deciding if it was safe to venture forward – and often times, it became clear that it was folly to feel, much safer to sit, confusing and tricking emotions that I knew not how to appease.

I was never the same. I often wonder how it would have been, had circumstances not conspired to prise us apart when our relationship planted in the garden of love, vied with the winds of change, became secondary, and your pioneering spirit fought and won the battle over your desire to nurture and protect. Separation for me was the ship in which I sailed the ocean of abandonment – for you, it was a new life, anchored to hopes and dreams of prosperity. We cannot live our lives in retrospect and we cannot know what we do not know. But surely, the hopes and dreams of a new life in your mind’s eye can never be as fulfilling as the hopes and dreams of the new life nestled in your arms?

~ Marie Williams – 2017