Slowly and steadily.
Away from everything that hurt.
I didn’t run or try to hide. I didn’t escape because I didn’t want to face what was happening, or so that I could deny my feelings, or so that I didn’t have to take responsibility for the demons that were always at the door.
I didn’t scream, shout or break down.
There was no drama, like you would have wanted.
Instead, I gathered myself together and I left quietly and calmly.
Step by meaningful step I walked further away from the noise, destruction and violence of the turbulent storm.
I walked and watched as the chains that tightly bound me to you fell sharply and crumbled at my feet.
I walked far away from the untruths that constantly slipped so naturally past your bittersweet lips.
I walked away from the way you looked straight through me so that I knew I was not even worthy of your glare.
I walked and walked far from the deafening silence that echoed night after night when you wanted to teach me passive aggressive lessons or show your disappointment and disgust.
I walked away from the suffocating way you watched my every movement, not because you were protective, but because you were obsessive and possessive and had to have power and control.
As I walked I remembered the way you fooled me into believing I was the only one you have ever held in your heart, when the only one for you has always only ever been you.
With each step I could hear the spite in your voice and see the glinted streak lighting up your eyes as you bluntly told me over and again how you could never love me, that you never had, that you pitied me and only kept me around for amusement whenever you were bored and needed entertained.
I walked far from the cruel and wicked way you spoke to me when your jealousy exploded, eroded and consumed you.
I walked and walked and deeply breathed as I recalled how you would laugh with winning pride when your callousness finally caused tears to erupt then burn down my battered, bruised cheeks.
I walked away from how petrified I was of your vicious words that could never be unheard and the insults that instantly inflicted bone-deep wounds that could never be unfelt.
I walked from the way your poisonous tirades spun me around so many times that I eventually absorbed and believed them all.
I walked from the loneliness and pain that penetrated my skin whenever you were around.
I walked and felt the wind blowing forcefully, removing all the hatred and resentment that you had thrown at me long debilitating, agonizing night after night.
I walked without caring and without once glancing back to see if you were running after me to lure and convince me for the millionth time that things would be different this time, if only I stayed.
I walked because I gave you the benefit, the time and way too many chances but nothing even slightly changed.
I gave you all that I had and I hoped, I even tried praying because I so badly wanted to make it work, but when there is only one person waiting at the bridge, it is impossible.
Staying was not an option. It was a guaranteed torturous and slow internal death.
I witnessed delusions, illusions, manipulations, mess, madness and make-believe, and thank God I saw them all clearly for what they were, just in time before I was pushed over that dangerous edge.
I kept on walking not because I was weak, like you told me, but because I had to save myself.
I found the courage and strength that had been lying dormant within me and I didn’t hesitate or falter with foolish doubts.
I didn’t stop.
I walked and I left everything.
I still loved you. Wildly and intensely.
I was hopelessly and passionately in deep and my emotions weren’t so easy to remove without a trace or walk away from.
It took some time to break free from how I felt and to release every part that craved and ached for you, and it was the toughest thing I have ever had to do, but I got there—I just simply kept on walking.
I moved fearlessly through the darkest of nights until the shattered, blurry ruins of you were finally gone. All I have left now is battle scars that painfully throb to remind me of your absence and to send flashbacks of the trauma I survived. They have faded but they will never disappear. They remain to haunt and fiercely warn me never to return.
As I walked from you I tasted raw freedom and I wondered what had taken me so long. So, I continued to walk with no regrets and I let every sharp shard of this tragic story go.
Writing: Alex Myles
Main Image unsplash Artem Beliaikin