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unfolding
by margot carmichael lester
6.3.03
writing


In the flat above me, I hear my old life unfolding.

I hear the music turned loud -- he’s losing himself in the beat --
Trying to drown out the thoughts banging round his head and the wails from his heart as he cries, screams the lyrics.
Purging.

I hear his heart breaking in a million pieces over the hard wood floor like so much broken glass and broken dreams.
Praying to god that the music might numb him to the pain.

She’s gone.
He’s set adrift.
In reaching for something to grab hold of, he finds only the music.

I know. I have been there – and go again sometimes, too.
I lost myself in the music.
But I was the one who did the leaving.

I knew it was coming.
That didn’t make it any easier -- just less of a surprise.
The one who is left somehow rarely sees it coming -- the strange myopia that causes one to miss the signs.

To misgauge the distance growing between them.
So that when the news comes they’re caught there, then.
The dear, rather than the deer, caught in the headlights

She’s gone.
He’s set adrift.
In reaching for something to grab hold of, he finds only the music.

I hear him up there, pounding the floor with his fists,
Trying to make sense of something that simply does not.
And despite my being the one who left, I feel every tear -- every ounce of frustration that I hear coming through the ceiling.

It doesn’t matter if you see it coming or not, nothing prepares you for the impact of losing the one you hold most dear --
Or worse, realizing the value far, far too late.

In the flat above me, I hear my old life unfolding.


ABOUT MARGOT CARMICHAEL LESTER

Margot’s a content strategist and freelance journalist. She consults with and/or writes for businesses large and small, and new and traditional media. She’s also the author of four books, including Be a Better Writer: Power Tools for Young Writers -- co-written with her husband, Steve Peha -- won the 2007 Independent Publishers Association gold medal for teen/young-adult nonfiction. She is currently working on two additional titles in the Better Writer Series, one for college students and another for corporate employees. A Southern belle and sex symbol for the intelligentsia, she was born, raised and still lives in Orange County, N.C.

more about margot carmichael lester

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