who you used to be
She sways with the motion of the rocking chair, her head leaning slowly from side to side, listening to the soft creaking of her front porch floor.
She’s ignoring the dread that’s rising quietly in her chest.
Cicadas hum low as street lights flicker alive, the two buzzing together in a familiar harmony. The sun is dying at the end of the street, and the rows of run-down houses with broken windows and wilting yards look almost beautiful, washed with hazy golden-pink light in the near darkness.
She tells herself she’s not waiting for anyone, taking a long draw of her cigarette and letting her eyes fall half-closed. She’s just enjoying the sunset, letting the ache in her shoulders rest for a moment, taking in the silence. She’s just breathing for a minute, a minute, a minute… she hasn’t been counting the minutes.
A rust-edged car comes into view at the end of the road and her heartbeat quickens. She hates herself for rising painfully to see who’s behind the wheel, for breathing a heavy sigh of relief as she recognizes his silhouette, uneven shoulders and a familiar sharp profile traced by the darkening sky. The car accelerates much too quickly, sliding to a sideways stop in her tiny driveway, the left wheel crushing a yellow flowerpot. Dark soil and flower petals spill into the grass, the shattering ceramic sound filling the peaceful silence. He staggers from the car, slamming the door behind him, facing her in the dying light as he leans against the car to keep himself upright. His eyes, bloodshot and unfocused, meet hers. She smiles, tired and painful, opening her arms like she’s twenty-five and he’s seven years old again, running up the driveway after school to swing into her arms.
He wavers as he walks, brushing past her without a word, stumbling in the door. She lets her arms fall to her sides.
She could smell it on his breath as he staggered by. The sharp, sour odor twists her stomach and lights a fire in her throat as something shatters inside the house. She doesn’t want to know what it was, so she moves heavily into the yard, dropping to her knees and gathering pieces of jagged ceramic and crushed flower petals as her tired eyes threaten tears.
I miss you, baby.
She wants to take him by the shoulders, see the child that he used to be in his distant eyes, shake him and shout until he hears, break him so he’ll see how he’s breaking her. She’s empty, waiting for her heart to be whole again, knowing that she’s hoping for something impossible.
Stars are beginning to blink to life. In the distance, voices float through the air. The world keeps turning, silent and cold.
She gets to her feet, watching the sky, aching, knowing he’s asleep inside, his motionless figure slumped across the couch, her belongings broken at his feet. The faint smell of crushed flower petals is on her fingers, and the sweet smell feels wrong, like something innocent in a place far too dark.
He’s home, but not really.
He hasn’t been home in years.
Come home for me, baby.
I need who you used to be.
Hey guys! How goes life? This wasn’t quite my normal post, and I know I *just* posted writing… but I’ve been writing so much lately, and I figured the whole point of this blog is to share whatever I’ve been creating, so… here we are! Hopefully I didn’t just scare you away with how dark that was. XD Would you like to see more writing posts in the future? What have you been creating lately? Sorry for the rather infrequent posting, school doesn’t leave me with much blogging time. Some more photography shall come in the future, but in the meantime you can follow me on Instagram @claraandcophoto to see my recent photos. 🙂
I’d love to hear what you’ve all been up to in the comments, friends! ❤
Can you believe October is almost here?