There’s too many reminders still. On my skin, in my hair, on the walls. In my wallet. The debt. The pain. The memories that just keep coming back and the more I remember the more I want to erase you.
Step by step I go. I get rid of the athlete’s foot you gave me because you could never take care of yourself. I scrub out the marks on the wall where your jeans rubbed constantly. I remove the specs from your cat’s snot. I uproot the dead houseplants you left behind. I toss all the rugs that remind me of you. I throw out the duvet cover you liked. Everything that whispers your name to me at night goes.
Everything has been rearranged. The fabrics I need to make it better for podcasting are in a pile, uncertain. They fear for their lives. As they should. Anything that’s touched you should quake when my eyes pass it.
You see, now that I’m not walking on eggshells constantly, all these memories are coming back. Things I hadn’t considered before. Things that my mind tucked away until it would be useful some day. I shouldn’t be surprised, it was the same with my abusive ex. The one who raped me over and over. The two before you did that. And you knew.
You knew what they had done to me and still you shamed me for not wanting sex with you. Blamed me for your unhappiness because of my sexual trauma. Folded intimacy in with basic touch and compassion, examined every way I did or didn’t touch you. Confused words and changed landmarks and goal posts until everything felt dangerous and loaded.
I won’t be scarred by you. I’ve bought the right antibiotics and salves and seen the witches for their magic. You will become just another story. One that will end, as all stories do, and pass quietly away. And make people cringe when I tell them.
But I’m used to that already.