‘This room is full of potential,’ you said, hands on overalled hips, standing in the doorway.
And you were right.
At first, it was my room, my retreat from you. We had just moved in together, two young lovers unsure of our footing and uncertain of our boundaries. For a time, the room of many things was my respite from you; a foreign embassy where I hoarded my relics from the time before we met. At first, I was worried you may have mistaken my nostalgia for regret. But you understood.
Time passed and the definitions – what was mine, what was yours – became less important. My room became ours; a place for bikes, empty suitcases and cardboard boxes which were too large for the recycling bin. And then, it became his room. We emptied that space of our ridiculous hoardings and filled it with something infinitely more precious to us both. Our Matthew.
And time passed.
A crib became a bed and we measured the passage of time through the changing patterns on the wall; ducks became robots became footballers became film starlets. The room of many things changed as often as he needed it to.
But the sun is hovering low over the sky, its creeping orange slipping under the curtains. Our handsome boy has long gone and the room of many things has fallen into confused limbo. Random snatches of our life together collide on the shelves surrounding your bed; the bed the disease filling your bones has forced you into. Relics from different decades awkwardly grind against each other in a room that no longer understands its purpose.
‘This room is full of potential,’ you said many years ago, standing in the doorway with your hands on your hips.
I rest my head on your shoulder and a smile spreads across my young lips.