“When does it stop?” she asked out loud. There was no one else in the room unless she counted her broken heart. It was bigger than she was, pounding and ripping its way through her chest. Aching with every single breath and every single thought. Her red swollen eyes should have been as dry as the desert already. There is only so much water in the body and all of hers was leaving through her tears.
She looked around at the pictures of what was supposed to be and, for a little while, had been. But it wasn’t any longer. She had known that things weren’t fine, not really, but things could have been fixed. He, on the other hand, had implemented an exit strategy long before she knew he was leaving. The room was full of her things, he’d already removed his, but she was overwhelmed by the emptiness of what wasn’t there. How quickly he’d made the move. Right under her nose too, subtracting himself little by little until the only thing left was the wreckage.
How many hours could she cry? How many days? And why was she crying? Why couldn’t she leave it where it was, the way he’d left it without a care in the world. “Well, that’s what you get for thinking you were worthy of love,” she told herself scornfully. She spoke it to the walls, to the mirrors, to the empty places and she waited for a response. And she waited for an eternity because time had stopped. Every day was the same day and she was a ghost in her own life, a bit player, watching from the sidelines as others walked in and out.
And somewhere in the waiting, she had given up on men. She stopped looking at faces for the next prince to rescue her, stopped trying to have conversations with men, stopped thinking there was a man for her. Stopped holding her breath. The cares fell away. The loneliness fell away. The anger fell away. Time restarted, life restarted and her heart was strong. Somewhere in the waiting, she had breathed again.
this is not my photograph but is a pretty neat clock