The Things You Left Behind
1. The neon-green frisbee that gave me two stitches.
Your friend couldn’t stop laughing; you couldn’t stop apologizing. I touched blood on my head but your face lulled my pain. Nothing to worry about, I said. You insisted on making it up to me. Before I left, you gave me your phone number. I promised I’d call if I ever wanted to not play frisbee.
2. A movie ticket: Broken Flowers.
You loved Bill Murray. I loved how your hand lightly touched my thigh in the dark theater. You bought salty pop-corn and didn’t complain when I ate half of it even though I had insisted I wasn’t hungry. After the movie, you took me to play billiard and looked down my décolleté as I pretended not to notice. When you brought me home, your touch burned a hole through my blouse. You tasted like bloomed corn and dark chocolate.
3. A jar of pink sand from Crete.
We rode buses filled with smiling men, and women sporting mustaches, and went to places where the water was warm and translucent like your eyes. At night we smoked the pot you had bought and fucked like a couple of hungry virgins. When we watched the sun set over Balos you looked into its melting light. This is my favorite place in the world, you said. You are my favorite place in the world, I answered.
4. A note.
“Didn’t want to wake you up. You’re adorable when you snore.”
5. A bottle of red wine.
Merlot, 2003. We went for a picnic at the beach. When the skies opened and spilled their insides on top of us, you cursed through your teeth. We returned home soaking wet and you kneeled holding a little, red box in your hand. The box was empty but you swore the promise was true. You would buy me a real ring as soon as you could. I didn’t care the box was empty. We never opened the wine.
6. A mutilated teddy-bear.
You wanted to return it when the seams of the arm came apart hours after you bought it. I said we should keep it. That way our baby would learn to love imperfection, just like we had learned to love each other. You laughed. You’ re such a doofus, you said.
7. A pyramid-shaped award.
You kissed me and said you could now provide our family with everything we ever wanted and me with the all the time in the world to devote to our daughter. I saw the symbol of a tomb in your hand and thought of millions of slaves dying under an unforgiving sun. I said all I wanted was for you to be there when she sang at the school play. You never made it.
8. A hundred identical messages.
“Have to work late at the office again, babe. Don’t wait up for me.”
9. A receipt for a new restaurant in town:
A bottle of Dom Perignon. Two Argentinian steaks—one medium-rare, one well-done. Two espressos and a panna cotta. We both liked our steak bloody and our deserts drowning in chocolate.
10. A diamond necklace.
You deserve the best for our anniversary, you said.
What about the CD compilation you had promised? The one with all our songs on it?
That’s a waste of time. You can download them all in a matter of seconds anyway. The necklace is better.
I touched the edges of the ice-like stones. They hid a rainbow inside them, but they didn’t fool me. They were nothing but carbon, pressed until it turned shiny and hard. We ate our dinner in silence, the lobster turning foul in my mouth.
11. A makeshift ring made out of wire you had found in your garage.
You never bought me a ring. You were young and romantic and decided to make me one that looked like a work of art instead. You cut your hands and tainted the wire with blood. I told you the ring was so much better for it. Blood brought us together. You slipped it on my finger on a sunny October day in a room at the Chania town hall. I wore a dress with bright, fuchsia flowers. You wore your favorite red Converse shoes and the shirt you had on the day your frisbee met my head like a stray Cupid’s arrow. We ate souvlakia at the old town afterwards. Our faces hurt from smiling all the time.
E.N. Loizis is a 32-year old Greek writer, trapped inside the body of a technical translator who lives in Germany. She writes poems, flash fiction and short stories while pretending to work on her first novel. She enjoys breathing, sleeping and eating. You can find her at: www.enloizis.com or at https://www.facebook.com/enloizis/?ref=hl
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Cover Photo: Punk Marciano (https://www.flickr.com/photos/mariobraune/)