|But I must.|
You must not look back.
You told me this as you walked away. I must not look back.
How was it ever so easy for you to abandon everything we built?
Do not look back, you said.
I hesitate. Images of promises, of comfort built by love between us, by stolen moments giggling in bed while the street cleaner moves past the open window.....
I consider what my life will be if I leave as you demand.
You told me once that you could close your mind, walk away and cast out those with whom you are done. I never believed that would include me. Yet, this is what your dictate means.
Leave. Do not look back. You will be punished if you look back.
Punishment. What more could there be? You are asking me, a person who trusts so rarely to turn my back on the trust I gave to you. To leave. To walk away from everything, as if nothing mattered, as if none of the words were real.
It is over. Walk away. Do not look back. For your own sake, don't look back.
I walk on. I shield my eyes, placing my hands up to cover them. A physical reminder to not. look. back. It becomes a mantra: Do not look back, do not look back, there is nothing there for you, do not look back.
Yet...we both know I must. It is my nature.
My feet stop. I pivot on my right heel and turn my body first, my body in slow motion as my eyes finally behold the destruction. The disintegration of everything. The ruin I sensed, but could not see. The undoing that I had to witness to understand.
I am frozen. I do not mind the wind as it disassembles me, carrying bits of my flesh to parts unknown. My dismantling brings relief as I untangle from the confusion of promises I never expected to be broken. A rabbit licks my ankle, attracted to the salty taste.
You said to not look back. We both know that I couldn't do that.