I was fine until I returned to the carnival.
That's not true. I've been suffering since you left, I've been tying myself in knots trying to figure out why, likely nursing and magnifying my hurts until it became hard to breathe, hard to function. It's what I do.
This hit deeper, though. Because I thought--because nearly everyone thought--that you were the good thing, that you were the shining exception that proved my bad luck with men was just that--luck and chance.
But you turned out to be the same thing. And when you left, I was told by those I loved that I owed you nothing. I was told to just walk away, leave you behind as I had been left. I was told you were just like all the others, and I shouldn't spare a single thought to your passing.
But the promises I'd made I still felt bound me, and I struggled for over a year to find my way through a path suddenly overgrown with poisoned thorns.
And the worst of it, the very worst of it was not you leaving. That was hard. That was unimaginably difficult to get through. But no, the worst of it was turning away from something else potentially as good, damaging it--perhaps irreparably--for the hope I thought you represented.
You were not hope.
You were mystery and abandonment. And I am still limping through the whole of my life, trying to make sense of everything after.
I finally have an idea for NaNoWriMo. But at the end of it--whether I succeed or fail--I will have whatever word count I have, and a manuscript that is absolutely unpublishable. And worse, I will spend a solid month in self-excoriation. I will reopen old wounds, perhaps cause new ones, because it's the only way I see to move forward.
I will not type your name, I still do not know what I will do to represent you, but I will not do that. I will only use my words, not yours, in the letters I will select to evaluate. But that does mean I will likely go through your words. Is it worth it?
I don't know.
But you'll be with me through one last harvest, and maybe this time I can set fire to the chaff and preserve the good things, and move on into somnolent winter to heal.
(Shot on the Heart of Darkness sim, as well as Disturbia [Adult sim], the Freak Show Gacha Carnival, the Carnival of Chaos at the Wash, and the Carnival of Souls.)