I am a human hour-glass – waiting… I hear the tide, the splashes of the waves, I hear their promise, sealed with each lick of my toes, that life will get better, that I will eventually run out of options except for the only one I have decided I do not want: the Mediterranean assures me I will move on. If it made sense to disagree with wild waters I would form a highly coherent argument that it’s a little too late, I, like the bottomless abundance of turquoise in front of me, am determined to keep going. People think that they are in charge of the world but I believe everything belongs to the ocean. It will never be out of its depth or scared. It will never wait with tremor for a man it had decided, and failed, to give up. It will never struggle to breathe…

Let me bend my neck backwards and surrender my face to the Sun while I’m waiting. This is not the scorching sun which, without permission or warning, would rush my head through currents of sensory memories of the summer days I’d spend with him, this sun is milder, more forgiving. I am grateful that this sun is not making me sweat, that would NOT be a good look, and I am all about looks. It’s just the right amount of pleasant – warm, bright, genuinely happy to hug me. I would hug it back if I could, too bad it would burn me to ashes, and my therapist says I should learn to distance myself from anything aggro. I’ll hug it in another life, how about that?

Despite myself, I practice my pose while I am waiting. Not that I prioritise the vanity of visual perfection – though an undeniable bonus – but because I am making a serious attempt at appearing like a poised woman who’s got her sh-t together. It is beside the point that I’m not, and that he knows it and that he will call my bluff. Let me have this for the next few moments: a momentary dream of radiating confidence because my Ray-Bans are on and I am gazing into the ocean at a certain angle, with my more flattering side turned towards where he will be walking from. How Mariah Carrey. If done properly, I will at least have a shot at masking the utter sh-t-show that is taking place in the elevator normally reserved for my stomach. Inside, I am gunning at top speed: heart fracturing, blood flowing faster than the veins allow it, breaths stifled, detonation in process. Personally, I am a big fan of evolution: imagine the struggle to flawlessly hide your feelings if you’re at the primitive level of development. I will take a poker face any day, thank you.

Now that I’ve assume the seemingly perfect pose, I am in need of distraction. I find nothing better than to focus my gaze on the people taking snail-speed walks along the shore or fake healthy life-ers pretending to be serious about brisk walking. Who brisk-walks under the sun in zenith? No matter, I would still rather be any of them and know where I’m going. I do not. Not without him, anyway. I can’t decide if this tumultuous wait is a welcome breather or torturous agita. My memory is as out of control as any organ of my body: sprinting involuntarily to and from how “we were born and raised in the summer haze, bound by the surprise of our glory days” – no point in thinking up words when Adele has already sung them.

He must be coming now: suddenly, I am feeling possessed. By the memories, the ocean, the sun, the anticipation. Him. Letting go of him, returning to him, making bad decisions with him, of which seeing each other today is the brightest example. We are now both with other people, didn’t I tell you? Yes, I am a woman with a black heart, but like I said: this one is a bad decision. The reality is crushing, though at this precise moment I have no trouble keeping it out. If it’s any consolation, I have consulted the ocean and it doesn’t seem to mind either.

I hear footsteps that I easily recognise. I don’t turn around to look, don’t have the strength, I have sat here a long time, half broken. I focus my gaze on the sand instead and feel the air become more alive.

I stop breathing because his shadow strangles mine…  

(February, 2018)