Complete (Incomplete)(6)By: Lindy Zart
I am in the process of getting a fruit salad ready for supper when the opening chords of a song I have yet to hear catches my attention. I recognize the sound of the band even before I look at the television screen. The apple drops from my hand and rolls across the kitchen floor, stopping when it reaches the beige carpet of the living room. My breathing turns shallow and nausea swims in my stomach. It really is pitiful how much I am still affected by Grayson. I try to tell myself that it is less sad because I am aware of it, but that only helps—okay, so that never helps.
I stand enthralled with my eyes locked on the television screen. The music video is in black and white and shows the band members of Thrush as they get ready to perform. A flash of knuckles that have personally trailed down my cheek, stomach, and other regions of my being fill the screen, just long enough to make my knees go weak. I stare unseeingly as Grayson’s voice fills the room. There were four letters tattooed on his knuckles, four letters that could be a flower, or a name.
L I L Y
He tattooed my name on his knuckles. Dizziness hits me and I place a hand against the wall. Maybe it was pen and it isn’t even real. Maybe he decided he really does love that particular flower. Maybe he is dating someone who just happens to have the same name as I do. Heat courses through my veins like flames of regret. I tense, waiting for it to pass, as the lyrics finally reach my brain.
Cut me. Make me bleed. Cut me up, so I lose you. I want you gone, bled from my soul, bled from my heart, bled from me.
So cut me up, remove yourself from me.
I keep telling myself the pain will go away. I keep telling myself one day the wounds will heal. I keep telling myself I will forget you in time. Cut the clock. Remove the seconds, minutes, hours, remove it all. Unmeet me.
Remove you, remove you from me.
Just cut me up, cut yourself out of me. You’re in my veins, you’ve fused yourself to me, and I can’t remove you. Please just take it away, take you away from me. Every breath is yours, every look already designed for you. Everything I do, I do because of you. And I can’t cut you from me. I am not that strong.
So you have to, you have to take the blade and you have to slice me open, you have to cut yourself out of me.
I am a shadow. I am mourning. I am weak. I am half of who I used to be, because you have cut yourself from me.
I am dying, I am failing, I am lost without you. You have been cut from me, but I can’t be stitched back up. Because I still can’t cut you from me.
Each song I hear of his is a knife to my heart, because I know they are all about the pain I caused him when I said goodbye to our love. Even so, I am proud of him and when I hear his voice on the radio, it is like a microscopic piece of nirvana is mine to have for however long the song lasts. Letting him go was the absolute hardest decision I have yet to make. I did it for him, not that he saw it that way. I did it so he had a chance to get away from the life he couldn’t keep living.
I can never regret that he went after his dreams, or even that he left, but I regret that I lost him. I was devastated, truly heartbroken. Months went by and I made it through them by sheer numbness alone. It encased my eyes, my mind, my heart. Everything. Without it, I wouldn’t have been able to endure the emptiness. It was black and suffocating and endless. So many times I wanted to call him, to jump on a plane California-bound, or even get in my car and just drive, but I never did.
Because I was scared.
After high school graduation, I wanted to go to him, even though by then it was clear he no longer cared to know me. The photos of countless women hanging on his arm were proof of that. He so obviously dated women that bore no resemblance to me that it was almost like he was trying too hard to show the world, or maybe only me, that he was over me. Unless I was being delusional in thinking he even thought of me at all, which could certainly be true. But I know Grayson and I know the way he thinks. Even when he was destructive toward himself or me, I always knew why he was saying or doing the things he was. I always understood him.
Once, I let the longing overtake logic and saw him perform. It was his first real concert. I only stayed for the opening song. It was all I would allow myself. A pain goes through me and I swallow thickly.