The Vase

It was so beautiful.

I placed it on the table where it could catch the light and a thousand rainbows would fountain into the air, shimmering, ephemeral.

I used to arrange the flowers you bought in it.

Breathing in their heady scent and imaging tropical beaches and golden sunsets.

I showed it to everyone who walked in.

And they all said how lucky I was.

One day you brushed it with your elbow when you walked past and it shattered.

I’d have rather you’d have flung it at the wall in a rage instead of that careless indifference.

You didn’t notice when I swept up the pieces and sat long into the night trying to fit it together again.

I did a good job.

No-one but me would have ever known it was broken.

A little more fragile.

A little more brittle.

And then with another careless gesture you sent it to the floor as you swept out the door last night.

I guess you weren’t looking where you were going.

Or your attention was just focused on something else.

I know it was a mistake.

I am sure you didn’t mean it.

But the pieces lay on the floor cutting into my bare feet just the same.

I left a pathway of red footprints across the tile.

I promise I’ll clean them up.

I picked the pieces this time too.

I tried to stick them back together again.

But this time, there is no hiding the jagged edges.

And the water seeps out the cracks.

I won’t put it on the table again.

I’ll put it high up on the top shelf of some forgotten cupboard.

And when everyone is sleeping I’ll take it down and wipe the dust away and remember what it looked like on the first day.

You probably won’t notice the gap where it used to be.

Maybe you’ll put something else there instead.

Something pretty.

Something that won’t matter if it breaks.

But it won’t be mine.

It won’t be me.

I’ll go clean up the floor now.

And put disinfectant on the cuts on the soles of my feet.

It’ll sting a little.

I’ll survive.

 

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