She could not say with any conviction what had turned her love affair into something altogether else, and so gravely out of reach in its current state of ruin. Those sweet bygone days tore alongside her as she broke away, from what she did not know, but whatever it was, it had chased her out alone into the desolate grounds of fate; tumbling and half-falling, retracing memories of and plunging back into the forgotten years. In the recent days, it seemed she could always make out unmistakably the memories of bliss in naiveté, and anguish in wisdom, all engraved upon her waning spirit. The wretched self and her other more able-bodied being, both past and present, were slight in their bearing, and yet, the faint mingling of whispering, sighing and weeping, became the constant noise which accompanied her as they rattled upon the fragile hinges on her soul.
The familiar arrival of the after light fluttered by, trailed inward from under the entryway like the rattling tail of autumn smoke, made ominously bright by the hanging kerosene lamp burning ever so softly beside the dusty wooden chair left on to light its way. She breathed in the crisp November dusk, mixed with the sharp pain of the unforgiving tides from the hovering affairs of her recent life. Her glove-less fingers had grown numbed with cold, smoothed along the aged writing chair set away from the curved stairway; the lustrous inky strands had since came loose of the ivory comb and tousled down upon her shoulders in disarray; those amber eyes have lost their dazzling brilliance, now flashed instead of anger and pain, then all at once hurled themselves across the stained teal tiles and directed up, brought to a standstill by the steadfast gaze which reflected back from the looking glass on the dressing vanity against the corner wall, and under the gold-colored lamp they appeared unflinchingly bright with unshed tears.
It felt like the whole world had moved on, herself breathed still but not living, abandoning her in a nostalgic and derelict past she'd never again visit. Just as suddenly, a startling sob escaped her lips, conceding that any consoling word of insight already came too late, as if out of whimsy, each and every crafted word had wittingly lodged themselves deep within her catatonic consciousness, idled away under its dark recess while slithered to the bottom-most among the overlays of time, where they at long last, mingled with the other muffled and unspoken thoughts which had lain dormant in hush suspension. The artless illusion of her innocence, made haste by the weight of neglect, had her swiftly sped downward to a maddening void of guilt and torment; and there, was where she stood at sea, on the verge of coming to be a lost beauty, no longer a misspent and simple youth yet holding on to traces of the girl she had been. How hauntingly sad and mad and bad it was, but then how it was sweet, this gravity of regret. And how utterly sad to realize it's too good to leave, and sadder still, too bad to stay.
**Robert Browning was written with his famous quote in mind: How sad and bad and mad it was. But then, how it was sweet.
Lana Bella has a diverse work of poetry and flash fiction published and forthcoming with Anak Sastra, Atlas Poetica, Bewildering Stories, Buck-Off Magazine, Calliope Magazine, Eunoia Review, Cecil's Writers' Magazine, Deltona Howl, Earl of Plaid Lit, Family Travel Haiku, First Literary Review-East, Foliate Oak Literary, Garbanzo Literary Journal, Global Poetry, Ken*Again, Marco Polo Arts Literary, Nature Writing, New Plains Review, The Commonline Journal, The Higgs Weldon, The Voices Project, War Anthology: We Go On, Thought Notebook, Undertow Tanka Review, Wordpool Press, Wilderness House Literary Review, and Featured Artist with Quail Bell Magazine. She resides on some distant isle with her novelist husband and two frolicsome imps.