Photographic Memory

by Ender Waters, Contributor

And every time he sees her picture, all he can do is wonder while a dull ache overwhelms his insides and every little part of his life now fades to black and white while her red hair stands out in glorious color. Nothing more than a possibility, but the loss of a possibility that glorious, that filled with hopeful happiness, and the rest of the world seems colorless in comparison. Pointless, even. Like somehow he knows that life showed him the best it had to offer, all bound up in one pretty scarred heart that he only had a glimpse of, and he was allowed to see it, to graze it gently with only his fingertips, and then it was taken far away, put in an iron box with the key held by someone else, leaving him only to wonder: what if. What if he could have been happy? What if he had been able to show his own heart and see if his heart and her heart fit together like some intricate puzzle of the soul? What if he could have been happy?

He probably wouldn’t have been, his mind tells him, it probably would have just meant more pain and rejection and inevitable breaking, just when the two organs were starting to share blood. She probably would have shut herself off to him just like all the others had. Probably. But his mind can’t overrule his heart, not now, and his heart is telling him that he could have been happy but isn’t because time and space got in the way and nothing in life will ever be as good as it could have been if he had just had a chance to know her.

And that’s ridiculous. His heart is lying to him. All of the 80’s movies and love songs were wrong. It’s a memento of a relationship that never happened, one of only a thousand that fill the pages of everyone’s life. The only difference is the reminder. No matter what they say, there are no soulmates, no destiny. There are only ever two lonely people who choose each other, choose to be together, and no matter what his heart is telling him, she didn’t choose him, couldn’t choose him. But he can’t see that if he follows his heart, if he trusts everything to it, he’s going to kill himself.


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LANDFILLS is a grassroots literary, arts and culture online collective based in Chicago. All work is original, except the featured images that accompany text posts (which are blatantly stolen from Complaints should be directed to Po via Twitter.
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