They say forgiveness if for you, not the person you forgive.

Maybe I’m starting to believe that.

I opened a drawer and reached in, rummaging for a tin of paper clips, thumbtacks, and the like. Not finding it, I yanked the drawer open further and reached deeper. My hand searched for cool metal, not expecting my fingers to stroke velvet. I froze. Immediately I knew what it was, but I hadn’t thought of that little burgundy box in so long. A slideshow of memories clicked through my mind before I could stop them like a flood of smiles and touches, secrets and promises. Then came a gust of bitterness, the hollow achy feeling of loss, the scent memory of his t-shirt that I cried into for a week when it ended.

The wound split open and bled, and I cried.

The first tears were hot and raging, boiling as they rolled down my cheeks, so furious was I that he had gotten in, that after all this time and space, he could still hurt me. But the next tears fell heavier and slower, welling and spilling, as I realised that it was I who was hurting myself.

His name rang in my head and I looked at the box in my palm. Don’t open it. Don’t look at it.

Too late. I opened it and I looked long and hard at what it held. I didn’t stop the memories this time, nor the tears. I let them wash over me and when the weight lifted,  I snapped the box shut. The closure was deafening.


Violet Fawkes

Violet Fawkes (she/her) is a freelance writer and sex blogger focusing on pleasure education, erotic fiction, and the intersection of identity, kink and mental health.