Remnants of a Window and a Love Long Gone

Bang. Bang. Bang.

The wood around our window is splintering. My hand is starting to hurt from holding my hammer too long. I still need to develop some callouses if I want to finish this project. I don’t think my knuckles are supposed to be white all the time either. But if I loosen my grip, the hammer will slip, and I don’t think I could handle losing something else so easily again.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

I used to imagine our future looking through our window. I could feel the warmth of your hands holding mine, watching our children play with the dog. I could smell the barbecue grilling, hear your glittering laugh echo through the leaves of the trees and waft through the window like a new summer breeze. Would we buy a new house with a window just like this one? With the same white plastic blinds, gaining dust over the years we would spend together, opening them ever so slightly in the early hours of the morning so that the light would wake us up to each other? Would we upgrade to a balcony, sitting side by side in the middle of autumn with the warmth of our bodies fighting the cold? The window felt like a portal then, a gateway into the future we would share together.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

There’s blood dripping down my arm now. Probably a splinter. It hurts. Bad. But I can’t stop now. Not when I’m so close to locking everything away for good. Keep hammering. It’ll be over soon enough.

Bang. Bang.

Eventually, the dust on the white plastic blinds started to stay because there was no reason to clean them. A thousand years ago, I would dust right before you arrived, so that you would think that the window was pristine all the time. But you stopped coming by. Our love collected too much dust, and there was no way to clean it off. I could no longer see our future when I looked out the window, only the grey desolation of winter. After a while, I stopped looking out altogether. It always felt like I was waiting for you when I looked through it. To see your headlights shine into my driveway, my heartbeat quickening when I would see you waving up to me, knowing that I was watching. Instead, my driveway only got icy, nobody parks there anymore.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

Why can’t these nails go in any faster? Everything hurts. Blood mixes with sweat mixes with tears mixes with broken promises. A broken love. A broken soul.

Bang. Bang. Bang.

As much as I tried to forget, the memories we made at our window lingered even though you left. The bird house we made still sits under the tree in my front yard, the sight of my crazy neighbor you made fun of constantly still makes me laugh. It’s all hollow now though. The birds have been driven away by the cold, my neighbor is moving. I get angry sometimes, when these unbidden memories pop up and I am reminded of how much of myself, of my memories, I gave away to you. Only for you to squander them and pretend like they never even existed. How can you move on so easily when I have to stare out of our window every day and pretend like a piece of you isn’t ingrained into the sill, like the glass isn’t tinted with the image of your face. Suddenly, it’s not our window anymore, it’s mine again, and I only want to seal it away forever, as if I can pretend that you are just as blocked from my mind like the view is from my eyesight.

Bang. Bang. Bang. 

So when I board up our window, hammering nails through the plaster and the sharp pounding of my hammer beating as quickly as my heart, I pretend that it’s you I’m finally blocking away. You can’t get to me through the wood and drywall. 

Bang. Bang. Bang.

The wood goes up with a fight. I wish I would have fought harder. 

Bang. Bang. Bang.

The last board. Why don’t I feel like I’m free?

I plaster new drywall over the haphazardly placed boards, and paint over that. My hands have calluses now. Yet another part of me taken by you.

It’s hard work, boarding up a window, but it will never be harder than the thought of you, and thus I am driven. I will cover the window a thousand times over if I never have to think of you again. If I can forget the way you made me laugh, the way your headlights illuminated my yard, the future I thought we would have together, then it’s all worth it.

I’ve covered the space with a poster now. Something stupid, a show that you hated. I think I just wanted to spite you somehow, even though you’ll never see it. 

But from the outside of my house, even though I spent so much time hammering, and plastering, and painting.

So much time laughing, and crying, and whispering about a future that never came.

I can still see the glass. I can’t see inside, but the glass still gleams in the sunlight, taunting me with an unusable window. A scar that can never be healed.

The last remnants of a love long gone.

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