I've created something inside my head; a fraction of a seed, a growing thing. I can feel it there, defined by its surroundings, despite its miniscule size. I am terrified of where this is all leading; I am holding onto the past by a thread. I wear a dress I've had since I was eighteen, the shape of my adult self, but barely anything more. Back when the world was made of the sky and hundreds of pairs of eyes cast adrift on the endless night-time. I try to define myself by who I used to be, but now there are silvery fine lines around my eyes, the valleys carved by smiles, and I am less certain. Less certain; more knowing.
I married him in spring, on a day that smelled like cut grass and hops. The wind was blowing north-west up from the brewery across the river and I came to equate the smell of hops with happiness. Later on, after I found out about his affair, when they ought to have meant a broken heart, they still smelled like happiness to me. Funny how things work out.
It's been four years since I signed the papers and cast myself gloriously, painfully adrift from him. It's been four years since I looked at anything closely at all: my life, trundling along like a one-speed bike; my reflection, growing greyer and fuzzier around the edges; my friendships, founded on nostalgia and getting left behind. The wine I drink on a Friday night is the same kind I've been buying for the last ten years. It tastes the same. Everything tastes the same.
But now. I don't know what happened. One minute I was walking home with a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk. The next I was lying on the pavement. Next thing I knew, I was being driven home in your estate car, the window open and my eyes unable to focus on anything, the wind flowing through the car, in between our bodies, the faint smell of hops on the breeze. When you pulled up in front of my house, you handed me your embossed business card and said if I needed anything, to call. The world seemed grey and the sky heavy; your eyes were a kind, grey-green, and, for some reason, I thought about colour schemes. I thought about the lack of colour in my world and my faded upholstery.
You ended up coming in and having a cup of strong coffee.
This thing that I created in my head, I think it was created by me. But I think, perhaps, it was half because of you. Half because of you; the other half because of me. And now it's there it won't go away. And when I close my eyes I can see it, And now when you call me after work, and now when we walk through the park on quiet summer weeknights, I can feel it.
It's there, on the breeze. And I am greying, and I am different.