how are you doing, some asked. she has left - i wanted to say. it was at the very tip of my mouth. but who would care? would they care that i am sad she has left. or would they care that she is no longer around. sadly, neither. no one in this world cares about either. and so i swallowed those words down my throat again.

one day, perchance, i told the man who asked after me many many moons ago. the one who extended a friendly touch when none bothered. i don't know why i did. maybe i thought he could understand now because he understood then how painful it was for me. i wanted to tell someone, needed to tell someone, to share the grief i had been carrying around like a lost puppy, with no direction, no destination. i told him that she has left.

who is she, he asked. my instinctive reaction was to drop the detestable phone, scamper to my bed and pull the covers over me, to hide from the shame and repulsion. that one last person in the world who had an inkling of what i went through then had totally erased the memories from his cranium. or maybe he never did know. maybe i never did open up, even though his kind text messages were enough to assuage the pain in my heart. i understood now that it was me he was enquiring after so long ago, not her. i wasn't angry with him, but i didn't want to desecrate the memories by having to explain it. and so i said never mind, it's not important. even though it was. it was a very important part of my story, of my pages. and i continue to hold it inside of me.