Read Between Your Lines

by Gina Maria Manchego

I received the letter on behalf of your heart, or maybe it was your ego.

Again and again, I kept trying to send you off. I was so close to reinventing a life without your writing on my walls. Did you sense I was moving on? Is that why you clung so tightly?

Adhesive attachments stamped so firmly to my every minute of living that the edges never peeled, this was us.  

Walking to the end of the driveway, I had an overwhelming feeling of despair layered in my belly, like bins filled with yesterday’s recycled headlines. 

“I’m sorry.”

“I think of you every day.”

“I love you.”

Same old story.

I reached into the metal slot filled with flyers and bills. Filed among them waiting for discovery, was your envelope. One look at the left-handed penmanship instantly destroyed me. I was blown to smithereens, like lit Independence Day fireworks thrown in mailboxes: the shock rattled me to the bone.

Return to sender?

My mind told me to put it back in and run. Against the wind, and my better judgment, I flew with fleeting feet back to the house with Hallmark in hand. There, I placed it on the table gingerly. Like my sanity, it teetered on the edge.  

Desperate sentiments and beautiful cursive on stationary, the colour of your Irish eyes. Anxiety butterflies rapidly batted their delicate paper wings in my chest. The sentences blurred and burned my vision, as salty tears gathered upon my lashes. They fell on your paragraphs, their puddles deep enough to swan dive down into forgiveness. I held my resolve and breath to keep from drowning in this broken language that exists for you and me. But I am chain-letter shackled to the things left unsaid by you. Those punctuations of importance that were too difficult to utter, etched with your cowardly hand, written to ink-stain your signature on my heart. 

Now, it’s too late. I see things as they truly were. Each sentence was weaker than the last. Your flowering finale had me longing for moments when I didn’t know how to read between your lines. Read the future. Read the last words between us. 

Image by S. Hermann / F. Richter from Pixabay

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