Writing - Charley Rose Jones
The ghost of the man that I once knew visited me today. I was at work, halfway through making a coffee order, when I noticed his name scrawled on a takeaway cup: Adam. Even in Casper’s nearly illegible penmanship, the name had never looked so beautiful.
I thought about that first day that we met, locking eyes as he stood in the queue. He was wearing that grey suit that I love, the one that sits on his broad shoulders perfectly but hangs off me. He always said I looked like a child wearing her father’s blazer. How I wish to be wrapped in it now, being carried in his arms to the bundle of blankets on my bed.
I looked scruffy. My hair was in a messy bun. My apron was undone. Even so, the way that he looked at me. With his questioning eyebrow half-raised at the state of me and his smirk, he seemed charmed. I wrote my name just below his on his takeaway cup, with a little heart on the ‘I’ and my number neatly dotted next to it. He laughed a little and I worried that he found me immature and so I started to blush and mumble and turn away – he gave me a wink. That wink made me strong.
That night, we broke my worn down, second-hand bed. Lost in each other’s eyes, whispering secret names to each other, the wreck beneath us non-existent. I could only feel the damage after he left. After I begged him not to leave: I never wanted him to leave. He promised me he would come back.
And he did. Each time he would bring me gifts that symbolised his love and his heartache at having to leave me at all. He even replaced my bed and mattress, calling my newly decorated room our special place. When he told me he loved me, pulling me in to him gently, I knew it was true and I knew that I would never stop loving him.
I cried when he asked me not to see anybody else: how could he not know that I was completely his?
As I poured the milk for this inferior Adam, I caught a glimpse of the bracelet that my love gave me on our anniversary. At first it warmed me, remembering him tentatively placing it on my wrist before softly kissing each pink jewel and then my fingertips. He made me feel like a princess. Then, like sour bile reacting to the overindulgence on a sweet feast, resentment, hatred, anger and pain climbed up my throat and I felt like I needed to scream.
But, not because of him.
You are the reason that the bracelet is the only proof I have left of his once ripe love. You sucked him dry and turned him to stone and I could just be sick at the thought of his empty heart. You, with your eyes as dark as your cavernous soul. You, with your sneering lips and your deceptive, disgusting tongue. To think that you used that tongue to touch and tease the life out of my Adam. My poor Adam.
I need to see you. I need you to confront what it is that you did to me, to really listen and see the pain that you caused. I need you to feel it. This bus is taking a long route through all of these suburban streets, but I’ll get there eventually.
It won’t be long now.
My phone just buzzed, my parents asking me where I am, what time I’ll be home for dinner. I used to love feeling it buzz in my back pocket, always sure that it was a text from him. He’d ask to see pictures of me because he missed me, he’d like to know what I was wearing so he could pretend that he was standing right next to me. He’d text me promises and stories of a life we could have together.
I don’t have the luxury of enjoying a simple text anymore. The words are carved into the cracks of my broken heart so that every time I feel that vibration, it resonates in every crevice.
I can’t see you anymore.
She found out.
I can’t leave her.
Delete my number.
You. You with your controlling, vile nature. You couldn’t let him have the one thing that made him happy, couldn’t cope knowing that he was not as lifeless and hopeless as you, so you destroyed everything that we cultivated between us. You sat behind his ear and spat the words he was forced to type to me, your demented, ugly face twisting into a smile as he cried. I can see your reflection in every rejection I received from him; a cackling, old hag. You left him empty. I know that his heart is empty because he could never love you, you could never fulfil him the way that I do. If he could love still, he wouldn’t waste it on you, so instead he sits, empty, unused, waiting to be filled again and would you hurry up and answer the fucking door.
Answer it! I know that you are in there. I can see you lurking in the shadows.
It wasn’t my intention. It wasn’t planned. I think they want me to show remorse, to apologise and weep with regret. Adam did an unbelievable job of it. So convincing. He was practically choking on his tears and vomit as he groped and grasped at you, covering himself in your blood. I felt my love for him expand so much that I thought I would burst and that our fluids would be mixed together on your varnished floors! A shining cocktail of Adam’s lovers, served warm. Although, for a moment – just a second, really – his screams felt too real and I questioned it all. But don’t worry. I quickly regained my faith. You didn’t die in vain.
If you had just listened to me properly and showed any kind of reason, none of this would have happened. Your delusions and self-grandeur blinded you. I won’t apologise. After all, when I slit your throat you felt the shock that we did when you made him send that text. When you gurgled, choking on your own blood, you felt the breathless anxiety we felt whenever we had to kiss goodbye. Every time I hacked off a piece of your body, you felt the pain of separation that you inflicted upon us.
So now you understand. Now Adam is free to love me again. And he does.
He loves me.