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Does it still hurt?

Sometimes, it does. It stings like an unseen splinter. When you shatter a heart, it breaks apart like glass, and shards, splinters, fragments, and tiny pieces scatter on the floor. The first thing you do, once the shock of the breakage dissipates, is to sweep the floor. One good sweep to clear the pieces – bigger, more visible chunks first, then a second sweep to clear the miniscule fragments you didn’t get.

“Finally,” you say to yourself “I can now walk barefoot.”

Weeks go by and the incident is forgotten. Until one day, you manage to hurt your foot with the tiniest of splinters lurking in between. It’s the smallest fragment of glass you could imagine; small enough to fit into the creases of your foot’s thick skin; small enough to evade removal. That tiny piece hurts like hell you find yourself temporarily crippled.

“And perhaps there is a limit to the grieving that the human heart can do. As when one adds salt to a tumbler of water, there comes a point where simply no more will be absorbed.”  ― Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger

“And perhaps there is a limit to the grieving that the human heart can do. As when one adds salt to a tumbler of water, there comes a point where simply no more will be absorbed.” ― Sarah Waters, The Little Stranger

So, does it still hurt?

I swept all of him away; I had this newfound grace that was almost like a strange sea’s seemingly endless wave crashing onto caramel-coated shores and sucking debris of him to the recesses of the ocean. For a good few weeks, the coast is clear. Then, a memory of him resurfaces, breaks the idyll of a perfect sea – a splinter that pierces my foot, harpoons a heart still mending, healing, and letting the stitches and tapes do their work.

If there is one thing I remember most of all, it would be the conversations. It has been quiet in my life for the longest time. No more morning greetings, the kind I got so used to, the kind I despised before I swallowed up my own words. No more random messages of affection, or silly emoticons, or evening phone calls where I forgot about the time, and I forgot about sleep. They are the splinters which emerge from the corners of my mind to sting.

It hurts. Not as much as the initial breakage. But it still packs enough pain to momentarily paralyze me and then, leave me dazed, hungover, out of sorts, out of balance. It stings – like alcohol on a fresh cut or wound. But like an anti-septic, the cruel pain cleanses and heals.

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