How to Mend Your Heart

It is hard not to see them in thunderstorms; the lightening that plays tag across the sky, and the clouds that tower overhead – soft, luxurious and ominous.
But listen to your favourite song; not the one that they played on their car stereo on repeat. Oh no, not that. Listen to that song which you played in the shower, staging a mock performance in front of the foggy mirror in your bathroom. Absorb every lyric, every chord, every second. Learn how the drums kick in at the perfect spot, how the vocals are smooth and easy, how the music lights you up from inside.
It is hard not to hear them in the cicadas on still, summer nights, when the air hangs heavy with words that drip with sweat and honey.
But, write. Write, then read, maybe erase. None like the words they meticulously crafted that cut into your skin, like the knives that remain in a block of anticipation. After months of not writing at all, write until words are pouring out of you; until all that you’ve been feeling since the dead of winter is finally rising to the surface.
It is hard not to taste them; salt delivered reprieve and the tangy barbecue smoke; like lips burning from spice and tongue wasted on impatience.
But put on the red lipstick, wear that suede jacket. Even if the reflection in the mirror is a reminder of what they liked you best in, let that reflection be a reiteration of what you feel best in despite their absence.
Then one day while walking along those same lanes, you’ll walk past them and their eyes will shoot up automatically at the whiff of your perfume. Their deep brown eyes will follow your every move, forehead crinkling up with confusion when you don’t look their way. You’ll barely notice them but, my god, will they notice you.
For the first time in months it will be their heart that feels hollow instead of yours.
~Ritika

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