It was a black night, and the rain was falling like deadly yet enchanting crystals onto the soft earth beneath.
I sat on a bed in my green summer dress, muddy, ripped and stuck wet to my skin. There was a distinct chill in the air as I reached forward to grab the duvet and wrap it round my body. I didn’t hear the continuous tapping on the roof, nor the howl of the wind outside. It was already in my head.
There were no lights. Only the shadows of the trees as they swayed in all directions as I looked through the huge glass of the windows around me. I got up from the bed and made my way to the nearby wardrobe. When I opened the doors, the bright clothes I had once owned were no longer there.
The moon started to shine through the trees as the rain began to slow. I could see in the windows my reflection. Tears escaped my eyes yet I couldn’t feel them as they dripped off my chin.
I shut my eyes.
And when I opened them again, the screech of car brakes filled my ears. I was then blinded by white lights as a shower of broken glass sent me flying backwards into nothing...
Remember when we used to watch the sky? The sun would be shining and there was barely a cloud. Raindrops from the previous night fall would be clinging to each individual grass stalk, glittering like the rainbow as the sun shone through them. We would count the birds...make out shapes in the clouds...we even made up our own fantasies of living up there, as if all reality never existed.
I remember sitting next to him that night, almost begging him to tell me why everything had changed – why he had changed. But I had been blind up until then.
Like with all things in life, I realised after, the truth is never clear until everything you have ever known shatters, and all that’s left is what is.
Fast forward from all the memories of which fill the hole where Michael once stood, I am sitting in a counsellor’s office, days after it happened. I watched the woman in front of me, not even bothering to read her name badge as she jotted down numerous amounts of details onto a small white paper pad. Occasionally she looked up at me, as if at any moment I would try to make a grand escape, and yet I was too tired to even consider getting up to get a glass of water. Irony was a killer sometimes.
“How have you been, Jess?” The woman suddenly asked in a delicate voice. I half wanted to reply that tripping around people as though they were a ticking time-bomb rarely awarded the ‘I’m fine’ card. So I remained silent and turned my head to look out of the kitchen window.
“Would you like to talk about anything?”
I could see her leaning to one side out of the corner of my eye, trying to make eye contact with me. Unfortunately for her, some books stay closed for a reason.
The woman sighed gently after a couple of minutes. I could hear her scrabbling around for something before she walked towards me and stood waiting for me to acknowledge her. I turned my head to see her holding out a small card with her contact details printed on it.
“I know it’s hard, Jess and believe me, your family and I want to help you as much as we can. So if you want to talk about anything, please give me a ring.” She said, her face torn between concern and nervousness when I looked her in the eye.
It took every ounce of self-control to not wrench the stupid piece of paper from the woman’s quivering hand and rip it to shreds in front of her. There was no one I wanted ‘help’ from, especially her.
“Don’t bother.” I stated.
When I could see that the woman had understood what I said and finally moved out of my way, I got up from my chair and stomped up out of her office, trying to stop the bile in my throat from rising.