Kirsty Handley - Letting Go

Letting Go

It was the 28th December but there was no festive cheer to be found sat on the bed in her cramped room. She could return to the warm houses of her friends and family, but the act of pretending was a step too far. They had seen this stage play too many times but did not understand the plot.

It’s called a breakup because it’s broken the title of the book on the bedside table screamed. The words stuck on a loop in her head. Clingy, spoilt, moody, paranoid, cold and ugly.

There was so much that she wanted to say, but he would not return her calls or messages dripping in desperation punctuated by painful blue ticks that screamed you are not important enough. She tormented herself with what he was doing; the names of every other girl burned in her brain. He had upgraded her what did she expect, it was the rational decision.

Expectations were low when she picked up that biro. Yet slowly as the ink dripped out, the stark and scribbled letters reclaimed the narrative. Her truth which was no longer obscured by his lies was that she was not confused and crazy; but he had scraped away her self-esteem and then discarded her when finished.

Narcissists leave trauma but at last the word was in her vocabulary. She relapsed a couple of times and engaged only to hate herself afterwards. But then he texted casually asking about her welfare which went ignored. Surprisingly earthquakes did not occur, and the world remained the same. The next step, a swipe of her phone and the memories and phone number went as quickly as he had dismissed her. Soon there were no words left to write. She was categorically nothing with him but absolutely everything.

Kirsty lives in Birmingham and is focused on writing short stories and flash fiction in her spare time. Her short story "Ice," was recently published in the National Flash Fiction Day Journal. 

How writing has affected Kirsty's wellbeing: I first started writing properly about five years ago after I had graduated university and had started a stressful graduate job. It is a really good outlet both as a new avenue for creativity in a numbers driven career; but also to put a voice to emotions and feelings that I often struggle to fully comprehend and express. Whilst I am writing I am only focused on the words on the page; which can really help in a world of constant distractions and heightened anxiety. The accomplishment of finishing something purely for pleasure has also really helped during more challenging days. 

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