Echoes

“Echoes” Free-Verse, July-August 2017

Your ghost follows me around,
haunting and taunting me.
I don’t know if I miss you,
or the me I was before you.

Through the window,
I catch a glimpse of you behind the trees—
a shadow of who you once were to me,
still frozen in time.

Trapped inside these walls
are lies I’ve tried to ignore,
bubbling up in the peeling paint,
all these years later.

Echoes of past conversations
bleed in my ears
while I scream over the noise
of what is now silent.

Living in parallels,
I guide the me I once was to escape
the darkness into safety and light,
though I once let you take it all.

-Brandi Easterling Collins

My love history and why I never wrote about my husband until now

Let me warn you: This post is long.

Something my husband and I talked about before he helped me launch this website was the fact that I wrote a lot of material about someone I loved before I met him. I was worried that what I wrote a long time ago would hurt my husband, something I would never do intentionally. Now my husband, Jonathan, is very blunt, as anyone who knows him will tell you. He told me specifically that he is not threatened by my past because it made me who I am—the woman he loves. We talked about my past and his while we were getting to know each other.

So, how did we meet? Jonathan was working as a night building manager at Arkansas Tech in the Student Services Center. I was a student working on a practicum during the summer. Just to clear up any ethical issues: I was a graduate student, 22 years old, almost 23, and Jonathan was 25. He was not my supervisor. I’ll admit, I thought he was cute when I first saw him, but given my track record and a recent broken relationship that ended a friendship, (another story—see below) I figured Jonathan was taken. Well, he wasn’t.

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