The One Thing You Will Leave Me With When You Walk Away

Photo: David Prado Perucha / Shutterstock
woman in the dark

By Allie Braun

My sheets smell like you.

And I know I should love that. I should like the fact that you want to be around me enough and that you have spent enough of your time with me to leave your scent behind, but I don’t.

At least I can’t admit that I love it because I know one day that’s going to be the thing that tears me apart.

I’m going to hate it. I know I will, one day when you are long gone.

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I’m going to hate it so much because it’s a piece of you that you carelessly left behind.

Once you are gone, once you leave, the one thing I’m going to have left of you is your smell. And I’m going to hate it even more then.

I’m going to love it because it’s going to be how I get close to you once you have left me for good. And I’m going to hate it because I’ll know that it’s the only thing left.

And even though I’m going to hate it and I’ll hate it with all that I have, I’m still never going to want it to fade away.

I’m not going to want it to go away because once the smell is out of my life, I’ll have nothing left of you.

You will have faded out of my life by then.

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Maybe we see each other every once in awhile. Perhaps we will even end up staying friends, but we will never be the same.

You will never be the same person you were to me when you first entered my life.

No, we will slowly become strangers, slowly know less and less about each other’s lives. Until one day we are just two people again.

Until one day I no longer have to deal with the way my pillow smells slightly like you.

Maybe that will mean I’m clean. I’ll wash those sheets and be done with the whole thing.

Perhaps that will mean I’ll have my freedom back. Maybe that will mean that I can move on.

But maybe that will also mean I’ll be empty. It’ll just be me again.

Maybe that will mean that we are going to be searching for the thing we had in other people for the rest of my life.

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But maybe, just maybe that will lead me to the next boy who will curse me with his scent.

His may be sweeter like how Anthropologie’s spring candle collection smells, or maybe his smell is freshly washed clothes mixed with a little bit of coffee.

Whatever it is, his will be different than yours.

Or perhaps it will mean that it’s my turn to leave my scent behind.

Maybe this just means that it’s my turn once again to leave a mark on someone.

It’s my turn to be the one to walk away again without glancing back.

It’s my turn to curse someone with the way I smell after I am long gone.

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Allie Braun is a writer attending Furman University pursuing a degree in Sustainability Science. Her work focuses primarily on relationships, current events, and lifestyle topics. Visit her author profile on Unwritten for more.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.