Constantine

Everything reminds you of him.It’s not funny anymore. You realize this as you stare at a pale, pretend version of yourself in your tiny hanging mirror. You are about to leave the house for work, and you would really be better off buried deep under the duvet, slowly morphing into a crumpled bed sheet yourself.

It has been long enough. You smile ruefully because you keep asking questions about your feelings for him, but it never helps, the questioning. Instead, memory blurs around the edges and you wonder if you didn’t just dream it all up – maybe you were in a coma the whole time, and it never really happened.

Today you went to the salon to get your hair done. The hairdresser opened up a bottle of hair oil, poured some into her cupped hand, and rubbed it all over your head. The perfumed scent of the oil filled your nostrils, and choked you with memories of him.

Babyyyyyy

What now?

You left your scent on my pillow yesterday. I can smell you everywhere, it’s driving me
crazy!

Aww, but I didn’t use any strong perfume or anything… I know, but I can smell you.
And there’s this other smell…
on the pillow…

Oh, maybe that’s my hair oil…
I miss you, baby. I wish you were here.

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You snap to as you realize the hairdresser is done, and has moved on to another customer. Hastily you pay up and leave, hoping the madness you fear lives within you has not begun to manifest in public.

The following day, you are in the bathroom, your phone blaring from its spot on the bed. The song you are squealing along to comes to an end, and another one starts up. It is Robin Thicke, swearing
he is lost without her… you rush out, soap suds dripping down your face, your bare feet almost slipping on the tiles as you rush to snatch up the phone and change the song.

It used to be his ringtone, that song. It was how you felt about him then. You can never quite make it through to the end of that song, but you can’t bring yourself to delete it either. That song is a metaphor for your love life; you are done with him but can’t quite let go. So you vacillate between telling yourself you are over him, and wondering what he did that was so terrible.

You remember the year when you were pouting and sniffling because, hard girl that you were, you didn’t know how to handle him travelling out of town and being away for months at a stretch. You recall
him scooping you into his lap, telling you it would be okay and he’d be back for you. It was the cheesiest line ever, but somehow he made it okay when he took a short video of both of you kissing. It was a
deep, clingy kiss and you were still pouting when it was over.

It is Saturday night and you are perched atop the decking of the uncompleted building close to your house. You have your earphones firmly planted inside your ears, there is an empty bottle of Matelot not too far from you, and you are clutching a chilled bottle of Romero in your right hand, left hand alternately wiping your wet cheeks and ferrying a slim menthol cigarette to and from your mouth.

You think of all the guys who could have been good to you, if only you hadn’t been blinded to their advances. You had saved yourself for him even while you were broken up…

Flicking the cigarette butt away, you look up to see the ripeness of the full moon and for a little while you are humbled by the knowledge that life will always go on, the world is full of underrated beauty and hope, and you are but a tiny speck of nothingness in the grand scheme of things.

You scroll through your music playlist and get to Robin Thicke – Lost Without You. You take a gulp of the red. And hit delete. And it’s not so bad after all.

Joy Mamudu writes in her spare time and whenever she is not too worn out from her day job. She blogs
onmissmeddle.wordpress.com.
twitter: @msmeddle