I have been attending a creative writing group with my friend Jay (yes,the networker Jay who leads me astray!) . We’ve been to 3 different sessions and it’s been fun. Now, last week I found out there’s a No sex rule…after I wrote a smutty short story to read out. I read the introduction and pocketed the story for future use. So when it came to writing something for this week I knew I had to keep it clean.
Last time I picked a prompt out of the lucky dip tub (it’s something done each week to inspire people) that’s a bit mean for an author. No Words Left. I wasn’t totally sure where I was going with it, to be fair. I knew it would something incredibly emotional, where a person (or a couple, or a group) would be so overtaken by emotion that they wouldn’t be able to speak. And of course, in true procrastination queen tradition I sat down to write it last night – 12 hours or so before creative writing group! Luckily when I mentioned it to another friend of mine, Matt (he’s a model, check him out!) he sparked an idea which ended up in this story. It’s so sad it made me tear up when I first wrote it. And I found it hard to read to the end at Creative Writing Group. It really choked me up. So grab your tissues and brace yourself for something very much out of character for me.
No Words Left By Victoria Blisse
There was always something to say. From that moment we met, yelling over the too loud music in that student dive. I couldn’t look away from your eyes and you tried really hard to look into mine and not into my brazenly bared chest.
On the first date, sharing a pizza and sipping on coke. When we talked about all the things we loved and found out things we had in common. Aversion to fruity pizza toppings, a need to straighten skewed pictures on the wall. Yes, even when in a public restaurant and you had to lean over other diners to do so. We both adored all things horror, especially films and that led to our second date where we got in trouble for talking over the movie. The old couple in front weren’t much happier when we snogged our way through the rest of it, either.
We didn’t stop talking, not even that first night we slept together, when you told me in detail how beautiful I was, how soft I felt and how much you loved me. We laid in bed, tangled limbs, setting the world to rights, seeing a future with us in our dream careers, with a big house, several children and even more dogs. Greyhounds, our agreed favourite.
On our wedding day, we wrote our own vows, read them with hesitant voices, looking between sheets of paper and each other’s faces. We smiled, kissed, laughed and danced. Ate cake and called each other Mr and Mrs for the next week, sipping cocktails on our honeymoon.
Our words changed when we moved in together, they got more practical. We became experts in DIY, you taught me how to unblock the sink and we talked and talked until we could afford our first TV.
We weren’t expecting our first child, we did more than just talk in our TVless days and apparently I wasn’t as careful taking my pill as I should have been but we painted her a nursery, bought her all she needed and loved her, oh how we loved her. There was no way to know she wouldn’t grow up, that she’d not even see a full month of life on this earth. When there was a break in the flood of grief filled tears we talked and talked about why and how and we couldn’t understand. I’ll never understand.
You bought me a puppy and I remembered how to smile, how to live, how to survive with a hole in my heart. When you were working, long hours, late nights, I snuggled with my hound and told him all the things I longed to tell you. But you weren’t there.
I went back to work, to get away from the silence by talking all day, trying hard to sell to abrupt, irritated voices over the phone. Struggling to meet sales targets, struggling to find normality in a world of madness where a mother had no daughter and it seemed everyone expected her just to deal with that. Even you.
I didn’t even have my dog to talk to any more. He’d gotten out, chased a neighbour’s cat into the middle of the road and the car couldn’t stop. I blamed you for that even though I wasn’t sure it was you who hadn’t turned the key. It might have been me.
The talking became shouting as we became too tired to even try any more. And trying became too difficult as every month the pregnancy test stubbornly said no. Each one bringing back the grief of losing her. At first you would hold me, talk to me, tell me it was all going to be fine. Then you began to avoid me at that time, not wanting to deal with yet another breakdown. Not wanting to deal with me.
Discussions turned into rows. You wanted to change the nursery into a study, so we could both work towards the dream careers we wanted. I couldn’t believe you were so quick to remove the only connection we had to our baby. I wondered how you could be so uncaring and you wondered how I couldn’t want to move on.
I wanted us to go to couples therapy and you said we should talk to each other instead of talking about each other to a shrink. You talked about me to your mates at the pub and I talked about you to myself. You went out more and more, I stayed in, signed off work by the doctor, wanting to hide away. To not feel, to not care, to not fight.
And then you told me you were leaving. You packed your bags. I asked why, I begged you to stay. I promised you I would change, that I’d move on. I said that I didn’t want you to go. I’d do anything to preserve our relationship.
You said it was too late for that. Our relationship was broken beyond repair. You couldn’t live in the past anymore with me. You told me you had to move on. That you had moved on.
You had found someone else.
Someone who’d listened to you talk.
Someone you had a future with.
I screamed, I yelled, I threw a vase at you.
You walked out of the door.
Several months later you came back. A chance to talk, to arrange and make things work.
I cried, I pleaded. I told you I’d forgive you, that I’d take you back but I didn’t want it to end this way. Taking you to the second bedroom I showed you that the nursery had gone. It was an empty room with cream walls. A blank new canvas.
You shook your head and left me with the paperwork.
Sitting, staring at the space I need to fill with my name, the signature that will destroy the love that we shared.
No words left.
A bottle of vodka.
A strip of pills.
And a tiny, baby bootee.