Before My Actual Heart Breaks

I’m not yours and you’re not mine. That’s what I say to his dreaming face as I watch the shadows of his dark eyelashes dance by the light of a Tilley lamp.

It’s not the first lie I’ve told myself.
When I was sixteen, I wanted to fly. I was going to take off like an angel from heaven and leave the muck and madness of Northern Ireland behind as I struck out across the west coast of Donegal heading straight for America.
Nothing but the Land of Happy Ever After would do for me.

It was him I blamed for clipping my wings.
I fashioned a cage out of self-pity then and slipped it over my head like a boned corset to hold myself together and to lock him out.

But hate cannot bind two people to each other for twenty-five years, no matter how many dark skies have to be weathered. Only love can do that.
It’s the first truth I’ve told myself.

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