by Destiny Diaz
I showered with the door open
the bathroom door unlocked
I hoped that as I rinsed my hair of suds
you’d somehow find your way back
that when I opened my eyes
I’d find you crawling into the shower
with me like you would do before.
The only thing that came in
was this cold breeze
invited in by open doors.
You weren’t coming back.
I knew this and still
The water got cold.
The steam faded.
and still I waited.
I’m not sure what stung more
the ice that slid down my spine
reminding me of how long
I had been standing there
or the pain that settled in
the next morning when I went
to brush my teeth and saw
the shower door was still open.
It became one of my daily reminders
that you had left and I had stayed.
And I had waited far too long
for you to come in and wash me.
I began to hate the bathroom.
I avoided it.
Do you know how mad
you have to be to want to shower
but to loathe the loneliness
of the task so much so you never try?
It took me 3 days.
3 days to try again and still even then
I cried. But crying felt good.
Like I was weeping for everything
that was and could have been.
Because I couldn’t face
the faucet without you
Because you weren’t coming back
and I needed to shower.
I almost lost myself to the drain that day.
But I survived, picked myself up
off the bathroom floor
silenced the roaring waters.
I decided to wash me.
Wash your memory off of me
and keep the me you chose to leave.
I learned to wash her hair,
to massage her feet and calves.
I decided to learn to love
to shower again.
And I am so glad I did,
because you didn’t come back
And I would have waited there forever
For you to come in and wash me.
Instead I learned to love me.
Photos by Ruth Chincanchan