An Exercise in Addressing Pain: Paul

by epi

This was part of an exercise. My job was to write about “hard things.” This is one of the results


I locked the door. Now that it’s done, I don’t know whether I did it to keep you out, or me in. I keep waffling between the two. I love you. Yesterday, you hit me. And we both know it wasn’t the first time. I love you, and you hit me. Hard. I gasped this morning, walking into the bathroom. But that wasn’t what made me do it. That isn’t why I’m doing this. You hit her. Emeline. The one thing I love more than you. I guess you didn’t know that. That I could love something more than you. It’s okay. I didn’t know it either.

Remember how we saw that shirt, once? It said, “if you love it, let it go”. And you laughed in a way that hurt my ears and said it wasn’t true. You said that if you really loved something, you were supposed to hold onto it as hard as you could. I asked you, “What about a bird? If you hold a bird in you hand as hard as you can, won’t you kill it?” You didn’t say anything. Remember? And then I said, “What if I were the bird? What if it were me you were killing?” I fiddled with my ring, waiting for your answer. I’d almost decided I didn’t want to hear your answer by the time you responded. You said that you would never let me go, because you loved me. You grabbed my chin and made me look at you. “Never”, you promised. I loved Eme enough to let her go. And I’m not telling you where, even though you’ll find out on your own I guess. But I’ll be gone then. “If you love it…”. I love you Paul. With all my heart, I love you. These past few years, it’s been with all my life. “If you love it, let it go”. Because you won’t let me go, love, I have to let you go.

It seems wrong to call this a suicide letter, even though, I guess, that’s what it is. I’m not leaving this room alive. So I guess I locked the door for nothing. I guess I just locked it so that eventually someone would have to unlock it, or break it down, to get me out. Which would’ve happened anyway. It’s funny how little death changes the world, and how much it changes you. I feel stronger. Strong enough to leave you, but only this way. See, it’s the thought of being free that gives me strength, and if I were to open that door and let me out and you in, I would lose it. So this is the only way. Which is alright. I’ve lived a whole life and besides, I’m tired.

I hopes she’s okay. Eme.

[the dead should lose their name. they shouldn’t take up space.]