Vestiges of You

Illustration by Chan Anand

There are a lot of words that I picked up when we were together:
‘quality’, ‘expenny’, ‘fairs’
(Many more but they don’t come to mind right now).
I used to say them all the time when I came back,
Littering them into my conversations with pride.
Almost an attempt to show off, to pique people’s curiosity:
Who did Freya learn all these new words from?

But using them here always made me feel a bit uncomfortable,
as if I was degrading the words, as if using them would lessen their magic.
For me, they were private words
that I learnt when I was with you and only used around you because it was so obvious that you had given them to me.
So using them here felt wrong, as though I was releasing them into the wild, out of my control.

More so, using them here made me sad.
They reminded me of you in such a visceral way.
Every time I used one I would be pulled back there, without even intending it.
They were little bombs, detonating yearning once spoken.
I stopped using them as much, stopped using them at all really…

However, I have kept one:
Pretty random one to keep, I know.
The others remain, but are fading.

In this process I notice that the vestiges of you are slowly leaving me,
my body, my memory, my speech.
It’s scary, but it’s also freeing.
I don’t know what will leave and when.
But hopefully, I will still be left with some to carry with me always.
What a lovely thought.

Illustration By Chan Anand
Lot's Wife Editors

The author Lot's Wife Editors

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