I can’t remember if the fence was crooked before or after the stranger came? In my memory he’s tall, thin, white haired and smiling. Perhaps he wasn’t all that tall though. Most people seem tall to me so perhaps he was shorter, more averaged sized. Either way, I can still see him standing in the larger gate, the one we used, not the one eaten by the conifers, smiling at my parents’ house. He was the one who revealed that it used to be two and not one, and he had lived there at some point, back when he was my age. At least I think he said that, I might have made that last bit up.
I think I was disappointing that my parents already knew the bit about our house not always being one dwelling. It was the same sort of disappointment that came I woke up from dreams with secret doors and hidden staircases. The mystery was never mine to find, it always belonged to someone else.
My room is now the guest room. Re-purposed now I have bricks and mortar to call my own. I still trace my hands along the hallway walls though, tracing the seams of the wallpaper, pressing against the bubbles beneath the drops. Part of me still hopes for secrets, tucked inside those walls.
The sun has turned most of the garden crisp, stems crunching to dust between fingers when I dig in between the leaves. Still, the lavender stands as it should, scent sticky on my skin, determined to be carried home into the house. Its flowers haven’t faded yet. It doesn’t seem to bow to heat the same.
But between the lemon tree and dahlia, the herbs have taken refuge in the shadows of a water butt. There the decking still burns my feet by afternoon and moisture only lingers a little while upon the soil before vanishing. One by one they will succumb, no matter how often I tend them.
Already the veil has been tucked away as a memory, beneath the cards we couldn’t fit on the mantelpiece and the notes received once the invites were posted. Still, the leftover cheesecake is still fresh in the fridge and sausage rolls on a platter still sit on the table at my mother’s, ripe for plucking in pass-by swipes of the dining room.
The band is the only sign that anything is changed. That you are no longer my fiancee, but now my husband, promised in paper and witness to love and honour till death do us part. Our world falls quiet in the sleepy aftermath and we are able to return to us as we were, as we wish to be…
Wedding season blooms
gypsophila and roses
sudden, sweet, fleeting.
Things have been a little chaotic over the past couple of weeks in my household so I’ve not been as active as I would like with the DVerse prompts. I feel I have a good excuse though. On Saturday my fiancee and I tied the knot.
I’ll admit that I’m quite glad to have all the planning behind me now and some peace and quiet on the horizon. It’s was a perfect day and a wonderful event, but sometimes it’s nice to be able to sit back and not have anything to worry over.
There are motions that crack open the audios files inside my head. I don’t realise what they are until your voice is playing on the loudspeaker in my brain, blotting out all other thought with the echos of your absence. Salted caramel for the mind, both sweet and salty, love and tears. I will hit repeat until the lump in my throat jams the mechanism and you stutter into silence.
In the months where I’ve lost track of time, I cannot tell if you have begun to sound more like me, or if I am becoming you. Rolling the words around my mouth before I speak as if to stain them with your voice. Familiar phrases still clutter my tongue as I sift through the vowels jumbled between my teeth. You spoke so easily compared to me, I do not think anyone notices that I am using your words instead of mine.
Learning how to thread these sentences into conversations is a little like taking the waist of a dress in a few inches before learning how to sew. My first attempt was loose, hung off me in waves of excess fabrics, clearly too much for this frame to fill. Now I have perfected pinning those syllables to the slope of my belly, the valley between my breasts, the skim of thigh and knee and calf, the strain in the hollow of my throat. I can speak without catching my heels on the hem, so the words pout forth like water now. You are there in the current, but I have found how best to navigate the flood.
I imagined that she was some great coastal cliff. Stone strong for thousands of years, but now the sea has managed to find a way between the cracks and it’s taking her apart in chunks.
It doesn’t sound like a landslide though. She doesn’t shriek and splinter as pieces of her sheer away from herself. There’s only silence as another memory, another name, another face, slips beneath the waves and into darkness where it can’t be reached.
There are still pieces of her left. Like fossils, preserved inside the depths of the cliff face. On days where it seems like everything has crumbled, they can find a way to the light.