Amelia felt the tears burn behind her eyes as she flipped the page in her old, brown diary. She remembered this ugly part of her life, some five years ago, with painful clarity.
Perhaps I should just break up with P now to save him from me. I feel so unstable, so ugly, so unlovable.
“Run, girl,” she whispered to the pages. “Run before he can—“
I started seeing a therapist today. I hate these medications I’m on. One makes me so sluggish I can barely function, the other is to combat that, but it’s not working yet. P says I should keep taking them. I feel nothing inside anymore, I can’t connect, I can’t see out of the haze. The stupid thing is, these meds are anti-seizure meds. That’s how they treat the bi-polar. This and therapy. My brain isn’t moving fast enough to seize, so that’s good, I guess.
But ten pages later, it was too late. P and I are broken up.
The black ink was striking and unnerving in the white space. Amelia remembered writing that way on purpose, trying to capture how stark and stiff she felt when P had told her over dinner at her apartment that he thought it best if they parted ways. He’d knelt beside her as she sobbed her non-understanding and pleas for another opportunity to try to set things right. In trying to comfort her, he suddenly forged the connection they’d been missing for months with the kindness in his eyes that had been banished after conversations with his sister.
They made love that night. Amelia felt the horror of the action wash over her again and again in cold waves. It was completely absurd—“Go from me, I don’t love you” should not mean “Let’s get naked.” Yet that was where they were. Amelia remembered the slow motion because even as her body reacted to P’s , as he pulled her and she pushed him towards her bedroom, she knew it was absurd and wrong and that pain was coming.
Amelia could feel the space around her growing, like a cavernous vomitorium to the theatre of her mind, as she sank back into that fog that rose from the pages of the brown diary. The ink itself reached for her, stained her fingers, and pulled her down so she could relive each moment as recorded all those years ago.
A gentle tap on the doorframe caused her to jump and look around to see her husband. She sprang to her feet and ran into his arms. “Hi!” he said, surprised. “Cleaning up?”
“Find anything interesting?”
She shook her head, burying her face into his warm, strong neck. “Just some old memories.” She looked at him. “I love you. How was your day?”