I lowered myself to the hard ground in an unladylike manner. It wasn’t yet October, but it may as well have been. There was an ominous threat of gloom after every evening meal and the birds were delaying their operatic alarm until the dawn had come. I pulled out my pen and notebook and opened the book to the nearest blank page. I hadn’t planned to write my goodbye to him amongst the grass and trees, but writing it in that big empty house, seemed to chill my bones more than the outdoors. I allowed myself to think back to the night I met him.

It was a balmy July night, he wore a grey suit with a black tie, which violently stood out against the summer fashion of vibrant yellows and greens. He stood surrounded by throngs of people, eager to witness whatever anecdote that was forcing people to hide their giggles behind their champagne. It wasn’t long before he was introduced to me by a friend, and we spent the rest of the night sipping our respective poisons and talking. He spoke with such confidence and grace that I found myself mesmerised by the gestures that accompanied his words, entirely unaware at times of the content of the discussion. The infatuation blossomed into love and before long, we were inseparable, two halves of whole, choosing, in front of our friends and family, to walk down the same path of life together.

The brilliance of the match didn’t last. After a year of marital bliss other shades of crimson were beginning to bleed through my rose-coloured glasses. His tongue, which could produce such charming poetry, suddenly was as sharp as a blade, his eyes, once the colour of dripping caramel had turned dark, like burnt molasses. He was so aggressively himself that to sustain his way of living, no one surrounding him could be themselves.

The decision to leave wasn’t due to a large event, but during one of our weekly arguments, where I would wait for his storm to pass in our joint bathroom. Exhausted, I leaned on our sink and glanced at my reflection in a mirror. It was startling. I didn’t recognise the creature looking back at me, she used to have such a vibrant smile, but her mouth was in a grim down-turned state, as if she was losing her smile through lack of use. Her heart had been chipped at and the disillusion of love had shielded her from her internal decay.

Opening my eyes to my present, I was struck with clarity, the only word he deserved was goodbye. I stood up, more resolved and steadier on my feet that I had been in a long time and packed my envelope into the front letter of my carrier.

Once home, I cautiously pushed the door open, and tip toed inside. I walked down the well-lit hall into the kitchen and placed the little brown envelope on the table. I didn’t need to say my goodbyes to the house, it wasn’t born from my money nor designed from my mind.

The end of a relationship is tough but losing yourself is tougher. I can still feel the tepidness in my conviction, but I can also feel a strength brewing and on occasion, I can feel sunshine in my veins again.

I walked until the house was a beige dot and as I skipped further from my past, I couldn’t help but realise the moral of my story; the best love story is the one you write with yourself.