At The End, He Fit Into a Very Small Box.
At the end, he fit into a very small box.
She marveled at this. She’d expected more trouble, as she’d packed up to leave. He had been quite a big part of her life, and it was difficult for her, before she’d packed, to look anywhere in her room without seeing something to remind her of him. Maybe it was like a rear-view mirror; things looked bigger on hindsight. People looked bigger than they actually were.
She would be coming back, but for now, but for the packing, it felt like she was leaving forever. Deciding whether things would be brought along or left behind had strayed too close to deciding whether things would be kept, or thrown away. It was a thin line between the two lines.
She’d kept most of it. It felt like she wasn’t really ready to let go yet. But then, perhaps, packed away into a small, potent box of memories and photographs, she could stick him in a drawer and simply compartmentalize him. Out of sight, out of mind, and perhaps soon, out of reach of her thought and memory and conscience.
She still felt guilty sometimes, but luckily the feeling had faded as she had seen less and less of him. It was quite heartless, but all told she had warned him that she was a ruthless one, a killer, and a black widow, and heedless, fearless, feckless and guileless he’d blundered in after her anyway. He had enough warning anyway, and she quite relished in her labels and warnings.
She never said she was nice. But still, alas, there was that little bit of her that tugged at her heartstrings, still twanging and twinging over what she’d done. Maybe she could keep a part of him, just something to remember him by. Nothing would ever come of it (or of him) ever again, not now, and never in the future, but it would be too brutal and grotesque, even for her, to just cut him up, cut him out of her life, like that. At least, on the edge of departure, she felt herself wavering, uncertainty.
She decided to keep a part of him anyway, eventually. His sweetness, his heart. The rest was packaging and frivolity, a beautiful façade and appearances kept up; she cast everything else away. In this day and age he’d still done his best to woo her with flowers (short-lived as their passion, and her patience), with chocolates (lusciously dark and lasciviously bitter) and, of all things in the world, with words. Florid prose and flowery poems, in this day and age! Most men seduced in textbook fashion out of a manual; he was trying to court her with a romance out of parchment. The problem with boys who read…
She kept the flowers and thrown them as soon as they hinted at wilting; the chocolates she’d had until she was sick and cast them. And all the various trinkets and trifles she’d treasured, for a time, in a fashion, until she got bored, and left them behind, like with the rest of her playthings. But his words she’d kept, the little cards with carefully lovelorn writing, and the handkerchief he gave her. Both still sighed gently of him and his warmth, the way he sighed blissfully when she pressed her face to his chest or his shoulders or his face. But enough of that, and so into the small box they went, along with his heart, and the box into the corner of the low drawer in his cupboard.
Occasionally, his heart still beat for her, warm and spirited and full of red, bloody love, in a very small box out of the reach of her eyes, ears, heart.