It started with the white lies, the things we said because they were easier than the truth. Things we said to disguise our thought process because... because it was different.
You see as we told those lies (the ones that minimized that amount of words we would have to say) we passed on an altered version of reality.
They believed we had been to the supermarket and the flowers we bought were for decor, not for the grave of our great aunt that we never knew but promised to keep the grave clean and cared for.
We needn't have lied, but then we would have to explain that the only reason she was buried here is because her spouse couldn't make it to Liverpool so had to make do, and that simply was too complex. So, they believed that our house was full of flowers in spring, and that we cared about decor. And that didn't matter, but it still wasn't true.
Some of the lies inspired sit-com like misunderstandings, other passed unnoticed. These lies- they existed everywhere. It wasn't a problem. But then the world followed our lead.
For this universe it was easier to let things slip from time to time. No-one would notice. But you did, didn't you?
It started with the cracks in the wall. You noticed that when you got the news, she was dead. You sunk to your knees. You didn't cry. You wondered if you should have.
Then you were told there was no 'should' in grief. That brought some comfort. You stared at the wall.
You remember even now when you were a child waiting for your mum to pay attention to you, staring at that wall. You'd make shapes out of the cracks.
You saw a bird with an oversized beak and too small claws. But the day she died; it had flown away.
A month later, and it was spring. You had got over your grief, as everyone did.
On the way home from the coffee shop where you had met a lover, you picked a forget-me-not and a bright pink blossom.
Later that night you placed them in the folds of a book that your sister leant you and that you never gave back. It took a week for you to open it again.
When you did there were two perfect narcissi lying between chapter one and the beautiful paper of the cover.
That lover left you two weeks later. You knew it was right. They were too pure for this world. Too pure for you. You were glad of the hours you spent together, talking, you fell into tangents.
You knew it would never work when they listened so intently. You can get tired out from so many half-made concepts. You wished they could imagine what it was like in your mind.
That was the time your phone number lost the zero at the start and the three at the end. Everyone else's did too. It was a bit a nuisance really.
A beginning of sorts
Nothing happened for a while after that. You hoped that the tricks, the changes had left you alone for good. You hoped that you could continue your life, in a perfect unaltered world.
Then you began to realize that it wasn't directed at you.
You saw your friends coat change from herringbone wool to plain grey polyester (she never wore grey before that did she?)
You asked her about this, in passing ("I could've sworn your coat was tweed!")
She insisted it had always been that colour, and that maybe she did remember a tweed coat but that must've been years ago now and it didn't really matter anyway.
You wanted so bad to say that yes in fact it did matter but you didn't. Of course, you didn't, you never used to say what you meant. It drove us all mad.
You started the list that night. In a notebook that was too beautiful to have been used before then. You wrote with a pen that you used to draw with, when I knew you.
You wrote in capitals so you wouldn't forget. You wrote: "THE WALLS, THE FLOWERS, THE PHONE NUMBERS, THE COAT."
It looked so peculiar on the page that you almost tore it out, but it seemed too important.
So, you threw it in to the bottom drawer of your desk where it sat smelling vaguely of incense as you staggered to your bed and slept like you were six and had never seen the clocks strike midnight before.
It was some sense of comfort wasn't it? To lay down the changes, put some sense of clarity upon the white of the page. It didn't take long for the book to be filled.
You placed it on your shelf, next to J.D Salinger and Bronte. Where they would be found. Yes, you made sure of that. You treated your room like a set in a play. Placing things purposefully.
Nothing was hidden, only your new address. It took us a while to find that. I must admit we put off looking for a while. Its awful to admit, but I know you'd expect the truth:
It was calmer with out you. But calmness losses its shine after a while. Yes, we began to miss you. I bet you're pleased as punch at that.
I always knew you'd go somewhere else at some point. You carried wanderlust like a snail carries its shell. It was only a matter of time. I tried to savor your company; I really did.
But it was so incredibly short. The number of times you left me in silent rage, I wanted to tell you how conceited you were, how bloody pedantic, how much I wanted to scream at you.
But I couldn't. maybe I didn't really believe those things. It's hard to tell now. It's hard to tell anything when you're not here.
I suppose you want to know why I'm writing all this. Well you know me. I never was one for secrets.
I want you to know that mornings are a little more painful when I know you're not here.
I want you to know that tea tastes bitter when you are not here, and that when I close my eyes and listen to laughter far away sometimes, I can imagine it's you.
I want you to know you're not dead to us, because when the orange evening light hits the deep blue of the sofa in spring you are there.
I can see you silently smile and take a sip of your drink; I swear I can almost hear you laugh.
I want you to know that when I hear the Waterboys tell me that I saw the whole of the moon, I am crying and I am alone, but I always will wish you are there with me.
I want you to know the art I make is worse without you there.
I want you to know that my coat shouldn't be grey, and that you're right, I don't wear grey.
The truth is, I miss you. We all do. I suppose we should've listened. I wish more than anything else in the world that I never had to write this letter.
I guess if I had my way, I would never be more than 6 feet away from you. Look at us now. You far across the sea. Me alone. I swear to god being alone is just to feel the ache of your absence.
We thought we were invincible. How pathetically innocent of us.
"when you got nothing, you got nothing to lose"
"we'll meet again some other day/ on the avenue/ tangled up in blue"
I sure hope so. Don't you?