When he told me he was leaving I felt like a vase which has just smashed. There were pieces of me all over the tidy, tan tiles. He kept talking, telling me why he was leaving, explaining it was for the best, I could do better, it was his fault and not mine. I had heard it before many times and yet somehow was still not immune; perhaps one did not become immune to such felony.
He left and I tried to get on with my life. I filled the kettle and put it on to boil, I took out my old red mug and filled it with coffee watching as each coffee granuleslipped in to the bone china. That was what my life had been like, endless omissions of coffee granules, somehow never managing to make that cup of coffee.
Somehow when the kettle piped its finishing warning I pretended not to hear it. That’s what Mike’s leaving had been like, sudden and with an awful finality. I would rather just wallow in uncertainty than have things finished. I laughed at myself. Imagine getting all philosophical and sentimental about a mug of coffee. I must be getting old.
And yet it was a young woman who stared back at me from the mirror. A young woman full of promise and hope, a young woman with bright eyes and full lips just waiting to take on the world. I never loved Mike anyway. Besides there are more important things. More important than love, I insist to myself firmly. The lid goes back on the coffee just like closure on the whole Mike experience.
He doesn’t haunt my dreams as I feared that night. Instead I am flying far across fields and woods, looking down on those below me. Suddenly I fall to the ground and it is only when I wake up that I realize I was shot by a hunter, brought down by the burden of not the bullet but the soul of the man who shot it. I realize later, with some degree of understanding, that Mike was the hunter holding me down and I am the bird that longs to fly. The next night my dream is similar to the previous nights, but without the hunter. I fly free until I meet another bird who flies with me in perfect harmony. I realize with some relief that there is a bird out there for me, there is another person, not necessarily a lover perhaps just a friend, but there is someone out there who is my soul mate. I think about being a broken vase again and realize that I have glued myself back together, what Mike has is merely a little part of my time in earth, a little understanding of my physical being. He has only, a little piece of me.