You’re just so fractious.

“Well, what is it you wanted to talk about?“ I look into my boyfriend’s eyes. They are still the same brown with hints of green. His eyelashes are still the same – dark and long. But something in them has shifted; he’s not looking at me now how he did before.

“It’s difficult,“ he looks away – towards the crashing waves. “Everything’s so different between us now.“
I knew from the moment I saw him this morning where this was going. Nothing is hard to decipher with him: an open book is the way I always described his nature.

“I went out with some friends the other night. Drinking. Smoking. All the stuff I haven’t done since I’ve been with you,“ he pauses, deliberating on what to say. “It just remind me how much I miss being single.“

It’s me that looks away this time, lost for words. I really expected to feel my heart shattering into 1 million pieces, but I don’t. There is nothing left in me to feel. I’m completely empty, Ripped of my emotional attachment.

“Why?“ I challenge.

“You’re just so fractious.“

It’s obvious what he means. All my insecurities. My doubts. My constant need for reassurance. Getting upset whenever he smokes or drinks.

Usually, this is one of my favourite places. Sitting on the wall next to the beach, I normally feel at peace with myself and everything around me. But now, this place is tainted with 1000 words unsaid. The breaking waves whisper taunts to me, piercing my every pore and making me itch under my skin. There is something warm tracing down my neck now. Startled, as I snap back to reality, I look at him, expecting to see his arm outstretched to my face. Of course, though, it’s not his fingertips on my cheek. Not this time.

“Thank you,“ it spills out of me, without a warning, “for everything.“ I promised myself 1000 times that I would fight for him – us - but now it feels wrong to do that. Instead, I let my brain shut down and my mouth take charge.

Looking confused, he reaches to put his hand on my knee. This is when I realise that my face is a tidal wave of the emotions I thought I‘d lost.

Remembering how my counsellor told me to go ground myself, I start going over the words in my head. Name. Place. Why? Senses.

“My name is Faye Everett and I’m sat on the wall next to my old favourite beach, because my ex just broke up with me.” I can see the deep blueness of the tides. I can smell salty chips from the people passing by. I can taste metal, I think. This is when I realise I’m biting the inside of my cheek like I used to. I can feel moisture on my face. I can hear faded echoes of his voice.

Snapping back again, I’m able to focus on only a fraction of his words. I gather “love,“ “nothing left,“ “bored,“ “ending,“ and “done“. I don’t try to figure out how they all fit, or in what order. “My name is Faye Everett.“ He’s standing up. “I’m standing by the beach“. I’m standing? I don’t remember how this came to be, because I’m now hugging my ex goodbye. Trying to utter a farewell, my voice cracks up. I can see his chest moving away from me.

‘See ya’ I hear.

“I can smell his fading scent. I can taste more metal. He is gone. I can feel the ground moving under me, and his eyes on my back. Wanting to turn back to him, it takes every bit of willpower to stop myself. I can hear cars.

The mellow beach is now the streets of a town. Faye Everett. Somehow, I’m getting closer to the bus station. Town. Walking. The beating of my heart has synced up with my footsteps. Bus. I’m in it. Body odour. Everything is too bright. More metal. Red is too red. Nothing. Blue is too blue. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing.

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