The story of how one t-shirt makes me feel
All I have left of you is one t-shirt.
I deleted all your texts and erased you from social media. I even threw away an odd sock I found of yours, black with an orange toe and heel.
This one t-shirt that I can barely bring myself to look at, let alone wear, crops up in my washing every now and again. It is so foreign to me, so infinitesimally you that I cannot wear it and feel at home. I do not recognize it. Maybe that is because I never felt at home with you. Never felt comfortable in my own skin. Always brittle, on edge, ready to snap and break in your presence. To shut down and shut you out.
This one t-shirt is all I have left to remind me of you. When I close my eyes and try to conjure your image up I cannot. I can only see small details. Your red curls, your ice blue eyes, the freckle on the pinkie of your left hand – the one I only noticed the day we walked away from each other. I remember the gap in your teeth, that funny tight smile and the way you used to say my name, hold my hand, stroke my face. But you as a whole/the person I thought I knew? That I cannot see.
This t-shirt is all I have left to remind me of the darkest five months of my life. The hardest, most painful, jagged and scarring thing I have ever endured. Five months of stretching and snapping. Five months of seeing how happy we could have been and five months of being miserable. Five months of wanting to let go and love and not being able to. Five months of pushing you away and wanting to hold you close. This t-shirt is a memento of my failure. Of my loss. Of you.
When I wear this t-shirt and people comment on it – they say ‘that suits you’ or ‘i haven’t seen you in that before’ or why don’t you wear it more often?’ And the words to tell them why I do not wear it catch it my throat. I say – it is not mine.
I can never bring myself to say that it is yours.
― Alice Nicolov