I'd Really Like to Stop Writing about You

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By Neni Demetriou


I used to fall asleep with your memory for a pillow every night, my heart handing out solutions to every single obstacle that prevented us from being together. But my soul, she stayed away. She knew I was the one who destroyed us. She knew the reason I kept writing was because being hurt so much, you just have to write about it. I just never thought about the way my words hurt you. I’m no Joan Didion, and these past 15 months were definitely not my Year of Magical Thinking. Time didn’t heal my heart or soul—it just kind of made them numb, making me feel like I’m in a dream and I’d really like to wake up now.

I’d also really like to stop writing about you.

So I decided to take the ‘you’ and tear you out of it, for your sake. I started with a knife to the ‘y’ and sliced it open, watching as the apartment on the corner of 84th and York I call home poured out in red, but I tried my hardest to keep the questions back. I then moved on to the ‘o’ but my mouth remained a tight line throughout our memory reel, as I ripped apart every single time your lips opened wide when you found God when I was with you. And then finally, and oh so ingloriously, I grabbed the ‘u’ so firmly, a little ‘why’ and ‘oh’ squeezed out through the seams, before flinging it across the room and smashing against the wall into so many tiny little pieces.

But it wasn’t until I saw the darkness seep out of my chest, covering everything the light touched, that I realized it was my own heart I had shattered instead. I guess I must’ve laughed. You’d think all of those tiny pieces would allow someone new to slip in through the cracks and take your place, but all they did was radiate your light, keeping everyone else away. So when I wrote about you, I called you “The Light,” because that’s what seemed to keep all my demons away. It’s also how I knew how to find my way home—because you were the only light my eyes could see.

But I ought to stop writing about you now.

I’ve moved apartments since the last time I saw you, and put our past life in a brown box. But I still find myself chasing the shadows of your ghost at every street corner. I also find myself chasing you inside colourless dreams that are filled with ripped tongues so I don’t talk to you again, and chopped up fingers so I don’t dial your number. I make my way to church on Sundays now, lighting candle after candle, praying for forgiveness because I don’t see how a candle can burn as bright as you. I also pray for my heart to heal, no longer screaming prayers for forgiveness into my pillow at night. Church on Sunday actually means church on Sundays instead of staying in bed with you. Church on Sundays also means praying for you to be well, healthy, and happy—because I really do (even if I'm jealous that you're happy without me).

Yes, it’s time for me to stop writing about you now.

Because while I’m busy writing about your Light, you probably radiate for someone else; someone who moans, ‘Oh God,’ as they follow you back to my home.

writer photo

Neni Demetriou

Descended from Asia Minor Greeks and the Hellenes of Egypt, Neni Demetriou is a fiction writer who fell in love with New York City after living in Los Angeles for two years. She’s currently living in London and working on her novella, ‘I Have Angered Poseidon.'

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