I miss you. I’ve just woken up. But, you aren’t here.
I made us coffee. I take mine the way you do yours. Or, used to. I think.
It’s strange – I need to breathe and I’m having a cigarette. I panic when I remember that you aren’t with me. I know this. But, I try not to think about it.
I am watching the smoke. I wish I could exhale you like the smoke from my cigarette.
I want to cry. I don’t like telling people why you left. But, they ask. It makes me feel more flawed and empty than I am, or want to be.
I never smoked inside, but I can still smell the incense you used around the house. It continues to haunt me. I light every cigarette inside with the hope of not having the incense linger.
There’s no one to ask if I’m stressed. I take a drag, slowly. If you were here and you asked, I would say it’s you. But, you aren’t.
The past won’t go up in smoke. I try. I have tried, but I keep failing. Staring at the smoke.
Sometimes you just need someone by your side. And you trust them when they tell you that they love you. I trusted you. It meant something. And now, it’s all gone up in smoke.
I couldn’t finish the cigarette at first. But, I couldn’t leave things incomplete. I lit it again. It tastes like the concrete on which I put it out. Perhaps, that’s what we would be like – soulless.
Things come though at the eleventh hour. But, not here. Not today. All I do is wait.
There is no darkness, I tell myself. I fear myself now. Not the known past or the unknown future. But, I’m just lying to myself. I exhale.
What I do know is that even in the company of others, I feel lonely. It is then that I ask again.
I ask, for loneliness to be my friend. But, that’s not what I want. I want you here.
My lips sealed off from the truth. My words, my lies, my reality. I exhale, but I cannot escape.
The distractions, still there. The blank stares continue. Love is only a word now. I see it in other people. I hear it in others words.
Three a.m. again. The effects have worn off. One hour is nothing. I can feel the silence. Interrupted, by my own thoughts. I exhale.
You continue to evade me. I cannot help but be consumed in this madness. In your madness.
Can a mirror ever lie? Would it? The smoke absorbed by the mirror. Fading before my eyes. Sometimes, it’s that simple isn’t it? Just watching something disappear before your own eyes.
A prisoner in my own body. This need – unexplainable. Fuck, even I cannot comprehend where we broke into countless fragments.
I dream of the days when we did things together. Now, I just wish to be able to hear from you. All I hold on to now are memories. Even they seem to be slipping away.
Too afraid to speak in this darkness. I don’t want to hear emptiness or my own voice echoing. I want to hear you whispering in my ears.
I exhale. Slowly. Wishing for the fire that was once us to not be extinguished. But, it was over. It was over well before the day you walked out. It was over well before I sat in silence.
If I knew…If I knew where it went wrong would it be different today? The cigarette twirling in my hand, waiting to be lit, knowing that it will be stubbed out.
Another day, another cigarette. I take you in with every breath. Only to exhale again.
— Navin E. (24 cigarettes in 24 hours)