Sometimes I feel like I'm fading. It starts with a shiver running down my arms, down to every inch of my skin. Then my mind goes blank, I stop breathing and my heartbeat slows down. I don't know how many times it has happened, but I certainly lost track weeks ago.
I hold the paper placed on the desk with both hands, to read it for the fifth time on the day:
"I wish you were here, because it would all make sense then.
Do you remember the great storm that was always at home? It disappeared like you, but in the process it destroyed my life. Now, when I arrive I only find the remains of an abandoned home that, together with my loneliness and a broken heart, make a perfect setting to plunge into sadness.
My grandfather died a month ago and anyone who knew me would believe that my dilemmas were solved with that, I also thought about it for a long time, but it wasn't really like that.
The day my grandmother gave me the news, I kept silent for long minutes. If you hadn't left and I wasn't alone, I probably would have smiled or been glad somehow, because the great monster had finally fallen.
During the funeral, people thought I was dumbfounded by his death, but being completely honest, I felt nothing. There was no pain nor happiness. Just a huge hole in my heart that formed the day you decided to move to Australia.
Little did I know that sad day would become the worst of my life. And that in addition to not knowing what to do with my future, I would have to carry the pieces of a broken heart.
I won't lie to you, I'm losing myself. What is the point of just spending your days under a black cloud?"
I wipe away a tear running down my cheek, before releasing the sheet and putting my hands on my face to hold back the sobs. Every time I get to this part of the writing, tears flow and pain intensifies. No matter how many times I read it, I always go back to this same reaction.
"Please come back." I whisper to the wind, wailing.
It has been about 5 months since I last saw Leonard. Surviving along the way has been the most difficult thing I've had to do so far. Neither an absent family, nor loneliness itself, compares to the sadness of losing him, but together they are a hurricane.
At that time, depression and anger led me to do some things I regret; like dyeing pretty much of my hair a light shade of pink and cutting it below my ears, getting rid of essentials in my room, or selling my car to ride a scooter.
My grandmother has never been home since her husband died. For many of us he was an enemy, but I think no one could fairly award him that title except for her, because only my grandmother knows how much malice there was in that person. Now she is traveling around the country, with what little money she has left after her own children take away a large portion of it. They don't do it in an obvious way, but it all starts with a talk about a loan and ends up not being repaid.
As for me, it's true I have benefited from the absence of both because, on the one hand, I don't have to hide anymore or fear being here. And on the other hand, my grandmother no longer retaliates on me for the responsibilities that others assign to her. Although there is a big drawback in the equation and it can be summed up on the fact that I live isolated in an old house, which at the same time is too big for a single person.
So much freedom has led me to act on impulse in certain decisions, but I had to deal with the consequences of what I have chosen to do in moments of pain.
I lower down my hands from my face, tired of crying. I look at the sheet on the floor for a few seconds, before lifting it off the floor and placing it on the table. My eyes run towards the last sentence to continue reading:
"I'm sorry I didn't face my feelings for you, but I was afraid you would hurt me. How ironic it must seem to you, if the only one guilty of everything going to waste is me.
Either way, it's important for you to know that I think of you every day and that I remember fondly the night we spent together. The smile you seldom let out, turned into a painting permanently hanging in my memory.
I miss your seriousness, our deep and trivial conversations, the color of your eyes that I appreciated when looking at you secretly, the softness of your voice when speaking and the accent that was always present in each of your words. Physically, we are opposite poles, but inside we have so many things in common I still find it hard to believe what I had to do to realize how valuable you are to me.
I have wondered a thousand times if it's too late, because you took refuge in another continent while my feelings for you went from love to hate on more than one occasion, but I need to know... if you had me in front of you and knew that I love you, would you leave me again?"
I sigh deeply as I wipe dry tears from my face with the sleeve of my blouse. The frustration of not daring to send him the letter forces me to make a ball out of the paper and throw it on the floor. Once deep in anger, I slap the desk, knocking the other objects out of their place.
I might excuse myself on saying that Nick's message prompted his departure, but I know too well this was just the culminating event of a continued denial on my part for Leonard's suffering.
I get up from the seat to go to the dresser drawer where I hid the diamond choker. Kneeling on the floor, I open the box to brush the delicate jewel with my fingers.
"What should I do with you?" I whisper to the necklace, a lump forming in my throat.
3 weeks ago, curiosity to know its cost encouraged me to go to a jewelry store where they could value the piece. It turned out to be a unique work in the market with an estimated price of $16,000 dollars. As soon as the appraiser told me the number, I opted to return home as quickly as traffic signals allowed. Since then, I have not dared to remove it from its packaging for fear I could lose it or damage it in some way.
In a last-minute initiative, I decide to put it on my neck, closing the clasp with such precision that my fingertips end up hurting. Finally, I get up from the floor to observe my reflection in the mirror. I'm so far away from the image that was standing in this exact place before leaving for Leonard's graduation.
The long brown hair held in a ponytail was replaced by a pastel pink mane, the original color is barely noticeable in little more than the roots. On the left side, the hair is behind the ear, while on the other side it's kept loose. I'm not wearing makeup, nor I'm dressed appropriately. A long-sleeved blouse with a dropped shoulder covers the upper part of my body. Black denim shorts take care of the rest. I'm barefoot, but a pair of anklets protect me from the cold ground. There are no accessories in between. What I'm seeing are the remains that were left, after spending weeks crying for Leonard and at the same time regretting having allowed myself to fall so low.
I bring my hand up to the choker, caressing each of the stones. It's beautiful, but it doesn't match my current appearance.
I decide to take off the necklace to store it in its respective box. When I turn my eyes to the mirror, I find a strange sparkle in them. Is it my imagination or a small chance for being happy even after losing everything?
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