The ghost of desolation


Flipping through the pages of my book Love Secrets Lies – something I never seem to tire of — I came across a few paragraphs that, in my opinion, describe particularly well the sadness of a break up.


She later confided in me that choosing Tozé seemed the best for everybody.

Once Miriam had made up her mind, she travelled to London, where she could face Sean one last time, scraps of paper in the pockets of her heart. “I had to tell him, face to face, that I was marrying another man,” she said to me, the wind in her hair. A cloud sailed between us and the sun. “It was one of the most painful moments of my life.”

The sea roared and frothed, goaded by the wind. It took her months to lay these words at my feet; summer was well behind us. The silhouette of a lone beachgoer huddled in a windbreaker, head down, printing feet on silver sand. I saw in that silhouette a ghost of desolation, bearing the weight and the cold of a final moment between lovers.


Love begins boisterous. It’s that season of the soul when lovers are infinitely new to each other, every discovery a grand revelation. Often life and time undo the tapestry you thought you had woven together, and your final chapter is as cold as the first was drenched in sunlight. I can sympathise with Miriam when she says “it was one of the most painful moments of my life.” God knows she went through many of those. Severing all ties with someone you once loved and loves you still, breaking someone’s heart — also breaks yours.


Once, both callow and callous, I shattered someone’s heart because I’d fallen in love with somebody else; many years later, someone trampled on mine and tore his asunder in the act. Not because there was no love left between us, but because love alone wouldn’t fix everything. We drowned in the multiplying complexities of our lives, and drowning is the loneliest thing you could possibly imagine. We ended up so unhappy together, we were forced to accept we must belong elsewhere. Not here.


Some former lovers can find peace, and remain friends; when that happens, it is of some comfort, because all is not lost. Shared memories, common acquaintance, a drink at sunset. If you’re lucky.


Sometimes I am that solitary beachgoer, trudging along wearily, knowing all too well the sea will wash my footprints away. If I become omen or ghost to any who may see me from afar, let it be so. I’ll keep going nonetheless.



Would you like to know more about Miriam? Learn about the story and setting on, or find it on Amazon.


Edited by Jorge M Machado




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