The Many Shapes Of Loss

By Ihezie Eberechukwu 16 months ago

I found her sweater the other day in my closet. It was the black sweater she bought few months before she left. I remember that day very well because I picked it out for her. She wanted the light pink sweater hanging on the rack in front of the store. 

"See? Its beautiful and it goes with my nails", she said flashing her pink nails while doing a small dance. I grinned. Her small dances always made me smile. Earlier that morning she had tried doing it again and ended up bumping into the dining table, smashing a few cups. 

"When will you ever get bored of pink? Your room is painted pink. Your nails are pink. Half your clothes are in pink colour..."

"Half is exaggerating..", she pouted.

"But half of them has pink somewhere on them right?"

She pretended to think for a while with her finger on her jaw, "let's see...maybe?".  

I shook my head amusedly, "my point is....try something else. Like this black sweater. It'll look so good on you."

"Well I guess variety's the spice of life"

Months later after she left, I found the sweater again abandoned inside my closet. I only saw her wear it once while complaining of how much she hated it. 

Was that part of the reason why she left me? Was it because I tried to change her? What was she thinking when she climbed the iron railings on my balcony and jumped off? If she loved me like she claimed in the short note she left me, why did she do it?

Months after she left, I still wander around the flat empty and on some other days angry. Even though, my mother purged the entire flat of things she thought might remind me of her, I still see her. Sad thing she couldn't erase the memories I have of her stored inside me. 

Sometimes, the whiff of her favorite perfume follows the wind in, tingling my nostrils. Other times, I subject myself to the demon of guilt. I blame myself. I blame myself for trying to fix her, and for thinking that I can make the demons she was battling go away if I provide for her. 

Was it because I didn't encourage her to get the help she needed on all those nights she woke up screaming and crying? Was it because I stayed away anytime she sank into one of her dark moods? Maybe if I hadn't traveled, maybe I would have stopped her from taking that high jump. 

Maybe. Maybe. Now, I'll never know. All I have left of her are painful memories and a dusty black sweater. 

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