A big house on a lake, and a boy who doesn’t love me. A ring in a box that has been left in a back pocket, uncomfortably stuffed away until a decision is made. I’ve had better days, of that you can be certain. The house is so quiet I can hear the steam rising from my cup, the frost forming on the windows. It is very late at night, or maybe early in the morning; I have unplugged all of the clocks. There is no more ticking, no dinging of the hour, perhaps this is why it seems so quiet. There are three clocks in the living room alone, and I never noticed just how much noise they produced, simultaneously clucking along even when we slept, and now where I sleep.
Countdown, thirty days; my laptop blinks at me, the words bouncing around the corners, exclamation points and wedding bells adorning the words. I shut it, but not with force or resolution. The Big House looks right out onto the lake, and in the winter everything remains still. Nobody really comes up here this time of year, and the snow piles up almost four feet high. The lake freezes over completely, and tiny little fishing huts soon pop up, and when it’s dark you can see little lights dotting the frozen water; tiny little houses. The House appears overbearing in relation to all of these little cabins, with its floor to ceiling windows and ten foot ceilings. The floor is made of hardwood as I slide around it, avoiding what I am supposed to be doing here. Has it only been one day? Has it only been a cumulation of hours?
Snap your fingers, everything changes. Snap.
Snap your fingers and he tells you that he can’t do it. Snap once again and he tells you he can’t stop loving her, no matter how hard he tries. Snap a third time and a door shuts, an ashamed man getting into a car, leaving you to clean up all the mess.
There were three hundred invitations sent out. Three hundred hand-written, embossed, six dollar invitations. I can’t decide if doing it here was a cop out or a consideration. We drove up separately, he claimed to be late, I wanted the extra day. I haven’t cried yet, not once, I’m not sure what that means, but for whatever reason I walk up to that frosted window and draw a heart, my fingers freezing as I trace and retrace, eventually just pressing my hands to the glass over and over again.
A Big House on a lake, and a boy who doesn’t love me.
A thousand explanations, the looks on all their faces. The sorry expressions, the gasps and the whispers.
I wear your old sweater and dance around in circles.