The right answer is to turn and walk away. But his arms are so strong and his words caress her soul. In his heat she abandons her resolve.
She’s unsure how it started, moving from found to lost. One day she watches birds fly on apathetic wings, the next he stands behind her—his hands inside her heart.
He damages her new home, where she now lays her head, the place where guilt and lust meet.
But she cannot leave. His eyes hold her captive.
“You are mine,” he tells her. “I own you now.” She doesn’t disagree.
Her breath quickens, her skin burns from the real and imagined hold he has on her. He whispers promises of life together, as long as all the pieces of her are his.
Pieces of her—
all he needs.
I felt the storm break my heart.
Maybe I knew he had taken his life before I got the call; perhaps even before he left, his words a warning I didn’t know to catch.
I can admit that now.
Before he died, when we spoke a storm brewed in his words. He had lost so many people—some he hated, some he loved. But still. So many deaths. Drinking ruined him; alcohol killed his marriage, twisted his relationship with his young son into sadness. He only told me bits and pieces. His language, sparse, as if he had created his own. I gleaned as much as I could from every conversation, trying to understand unspoken words, held breaths.
If only I had read between his lines.
If I closed my eyes, could I have touched his words??
“SEE WHO I AM NOW!” he angrily shouted, though his rage was couched between desire and love.
“I’m not that man anymore who would hurt you. You’re my china doll, baby.”
He carried me for twenty years, freezing me in time; taking me out, looking at me, before putting me back on his shelf. Who he thought I was. Not realizing I would grow and change, becoming a different person. A stronger person. A doll who didn’t break quite so easily.
The mind warps what time can’t forget. But I will never forget.
And I am not his doll. I am not fragile.
Then again, I’m not the one who broke.
Allow me to drape my limbs over you; my secret murmurs soothing fears that keep you awake as the rays of the day fade on borrowed rest.
Grasping your hand to keep you from losing your way back to me, you meet my eyes with a rush of desire that slams me in a hard, brilliant flash.
Do you hear me? I whisper along your skin, cooled by the night air. Crossing this wide river to you, I pray you’ll reach for me as I pass by, drowning in your depths.
You, my only salvation.
Will you save me?
Waiting for the sun, I barely breathe so as not to wake you, unable to turn away from the glare of what we’ve wrought.
I bathe in our entangled gleam, where love lives inside the knowledge that tomorrow fades again.
Illumination only lasts until darkness decides to fall.
He found me, waiting and bruised, pushing his way so deeply inside me; I never thought he’d find his way out.
But he surprised us both, shoving me aside as quickly as he’d come. Using, abusing, he feared his inner darkness would disrupt our carefully structured nest.
Scared our pleasure would eat at his soul.
Too afraid to give room, or care, or thought, he left me as he found me, waiting and bruised, but now also willing and broken.
I shakily tend my wounds, mystified if I had flown, or fallen.
And Then I Let Him Go
It hits me at the strangest times.
The fact that someone who was a part of my life is gone. Here today, gone tomorrow. A concept so hard to grasp when it happens to –
To whom? He’s the one who took his own life. Nothing happened to me, his ex-love from many years ago.
We spoke earlier that day. The day he decided would be his last.
We never will again. Impossible.
But he visits me, in my dreams, conjured by my disbelieving subconscious.
Or is he conjured by my heart?
I wake up from the dreams confused and—somehow—relieved. In some, he tells me he’s OK. In others he doesn’t speak, but he shows me he’s fine.
But there’s still too much I don’t know or understand about the man he became—this man I once shared my heart and body with. So I go about my days now, my full life bursting with my own family, and when he visits me in my dreams, I let him in.
And then I let him go.
Women have rooms inside of us men cannot fathom.
It’s where we store the depths of the hurt we’ve been dealt.
Where we store the deep love we never want to lose.
Where we’ve tucked away all those cutting comments through the years, when we couldn’t react because we had company. The place where we shoved the painful words down, swallowed the reactions and put them in the corner; pushing it all back down when it threatened to rise up; afraid the tentative piece of string might snap and all the hurtful words he sent your way will tumble back out and hit him so hard he won’t comprehend the language you’re speaking is his own.
We fold our stories inside ourselves.
We unwrap them when nobody is looking.
We carry former lovers, long lost, inside our limbs. We feel their caresses, remember exactly how their tongues entwined with ours as our bodies melted, their eyes on ours as they entered us; even our cells remember the exquisite burn.
A woman never forgets, though she may learn to love another. We wrap those memories away for safekeeping, even when those lovers hurt and brutalize, our hearts break and we cry forever tears. We have a room for that pain, a special key we hide to lock it away.
Women grow, our hearts accommodating all the players in our lives.
We explore our rooms often, sometimes inadvertently. Our hearts won’t allow us to ignore our secret places for long. Try as we might to suppress our desires, our unknown thoughts and fears will rise to guide us to different places, new rooms we never knew existed but were within us the whole time.
Embrace. Hold tight while you dance. Jump.
Our rooms are buried so deeply, many times we don’t listen or can’t hear. We fall, search, drift, let go. We hold our breath, worry what others will think, lose ourselves.
Women have rooms inside us.
PRAISE FOR BROKEN PIECES:
‘So ridiculously amazing, I can’t take it’ ~ Gabe Berman, Author ‘Live LIke A Fruit Fly‘
‘Engrossed. It is a grippingly brilliant work’ ~ Frank Feather, author and blogger
‘Any woman who has had a former lover (or two or three) will be able to relate to this. Her writing is very poetic.’ ~ LS Hullinger, reader, writer
‘A brilliant and intense must read’ ~ Jeffery Rowan, reader
Welcome to bestselling author Rachel Thompson’s newest nonfiction work! Vastly different in tone from her previous essay collections A Walk In The Snark and The Mancode: Exposed, BROKEN PIECES is a collection of pieces inspired by one woman’s life: love, loss, abuse, trust, grief, and ultimately, love again.
This is NOT a humor book! It IS a book about relationships, a study of women, a book with heart.Want to see why people love it? Why they call it ‘riveting, powerful, insightful?’
Read it and see why Broken Pieces is tearing up the lists for Nonfiction, Women’s Studies, and books for women!
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Genre – NonFiction
Rating – PG13
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