A couple lived together for many years, and many things went unspoken of between them. Eventually what was left unsaid was left forgotten.
At first this loss seemed inconsequential to them both and they carried on together as if nothing was any different. In this way even more years passed, and although something between them had changed they could not say what.
One day the thought of it returned, as if a fish had risen out of the murk and broken the serene surface for a much needed gulp of air. It did not surface for long enough to allow them to see its true shape, yet the ripples spread out across the lake of their minds and could not be denied.
The desire to reclaim what had been long forgotten, and longer lost, eventually consumed them. In their frenzied search they tore the house apart. They tore their friends apart, and their family too. They tore apart their past and their future, their happiness, their hope.
And there it was at last, in amongst the rubble and the blood of their shredded hearts. A crystal barb glinting in the firelight. Tiny and fragile. Huge, all encompassing.
One of them looked at it and turned away. He said, “Is that all it was? That tiny sliver of a thing? No wonder we let it go and left it where it lay.
“And now we’ve found it, what good will it do us? What benefit will it bring? We should have left it where it was. And we should bury it now, as deep as we can, and carry on again as if it had never been found.”
But the other kept her eyes upon it and did not look away. Could not look away.
Would not look away.
He saw the tears in her eyes Trying not to see what those tears reflected back at him, he said, “Was it worth it, all this destruction, all this fury and despair? Was it worth it, for something so small, from so long ago?”
“The truth is worth whatever it costs,” she said, and reached down and picked the bones out of the ruins of her old heart.
“But we were happy,” he said.
“Yet all of it was a lie,” she said.
And she put the forgotten things back where they belonged and made herself whole again.
1. Written in June 2016__________patreon. Subscribers get not just early access to content and also the occasional gift, but also my eternal gratitude. Which I'm not sure is very useful, but is certainly very real. Thank you.