Ashes

by misglitter

As I pack up my life for the second time in five months I’m extremely overwhelmed. I pull out things I had tucked away in hopes of forgetting them for a while, like t-shirts and pillows and the flannel bag that holds my most treasured mementos. I turn my boyfriend’s Narcotics Anonymous keychains over and over in my hand and I’m so furious to think they were all a lie. “Just for Today” one says. Why couldn’t it have been for forever?

The worst, though, is pulling out the little pill bottle full of his ashes. Twenty-four years of living reduced to a pharmaceutical container. Ironic. Looking at this damn Walgreens bottle of dust and pieces of bone, I have all these weird urges to throw it at the wall or empty it into the ocean. It’s the only tangible piece I have left of him and I want to hurt it, like he hurt me. I also want to touch it (call me weird or crazy, I don’t care) and feel him in my hands again. But it’ll just sit there for now.

I haven’t cried this much in a long time. Leaving here is so bittersweet and surreal. Before moving to California, my life was a living Hell, a waking nightmare. I knew this would be an escape and I could get away from my problems for a while, but now it’s time to face them head-on and that’s damn scary.

And of course the only person who could make me feel better is sitting in front of me in an orange plastic bottle.

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