The blood in my heart must have left for my cheeks, because I got my colour back but I felt empty. I expected a deep yearning, that burning tight feeling you get on the left side of your chest from time to time, when the face of the one you lost appears before your mind’s eye. Sometimes the visage arises like smoke from an extinguished candle, wafting in unnoticed at first and suddenly surrounding all of your senses. Other times the familiar smile, the certain look in the eye seems to come hurtling at you like a canon ball, full-force. But either way, his features mustered no more than a muted flicker of melancholy inside my chest, except for on rare occasions when I came across an old photograph which captured a kiss, or some song of significance fell uninvitedly upon my ears.
No, mostly I felt an empty space where heartbreak should be. You’d think that nothingness would be preferable to the pain of torn cardiovascular muscles, but in fact it brings with it its own kind of hell. There are no tears to let trickle hot and tickly down reddened cheeks, no hard, convulsing sobs into a pillow, I could find no release for the misery that I found myself in. Where does one obtain catharsis for a pain that can’t be healed because it refuses to show itself? What sudden cowardice of emotion had I acquired? I found myself static, usually prostrate, staring blankly into the white canvas of the ceiling above me, what I was looking for I don’t know. Sometimes thoughts whirred in chaos and without apparent providence, other times it was as though I had no brain inside my skull at all. At any rate, my physicality became unmovable, solid and heavy as the bed I laid upon, arms like lead, without an ounce of life inside me.
And though at first it might sound laughable, I only realised that my current situation had become so dire when the thought of the cake sat in the fridge not twenty feet away from me wasn’t enough to wake me from my corpse-like state. “Not even cake” I heard myself whisper. Not even cake. They would not go down in history as words of great profundity. And suddenly seeing myself from outside of myself, I watched this sorry mess who laid mumbling to herself and I felt an unexpected irritation stir at my being so unpoetic. I felt awakened. But it was not the fact that I did not want the cake that has roused me from my deadened state but the ridiculousness of the sentence I had just uttered. And then, quite abruptly and at once the irritation evaporated along with the overwhelming sense of nothingness and I felt the muscles in my face tighten as I began to laugh from the sheer absurdity of the picture I had just created. And then at last I cried.