The Germans have a word for it; something guttural that translates to “grief bacon.” A hole you fill with food. Although in my case it was chocolate.

You don’t mention it when I open the door, tell me I look well, which a more sensitive soul might take as a dig, but I know you just haven’t noticed the stretch of my T-shirt. You stopped noticing me a long time ago.

We walk through into the kitchen, where the coffee is already pressed on the tiny breakfast table. It goes cold as you lead me by the hand into the bedroom we used to share, as if we can shrug off everything we’ve done as easily as removing our clothes.

You bury your face in the hair on my stomach and I grunt obscenely to stop myself from crying. After, we drink the coffee and you eat all of the toast, tearing it with your teeth in large, ravenous mouthfuls. For the first time in months, I have no appetite.

It is unceremonious, as final meals go, and I realise how much of a ritual I’d made of preparing it. It’s simpler for you. You were hungry, now you aren’t.

You kiss me on the cheek when you leave, a gesture more impersonal and insulting than if you’d attempted a high five. And then you’re gone.

I sit back down at the tiny kitchen table and try not to think about the crumbs on the plates, the coffee dregs and pulp that will need to be rinsed away, and with them, any trace that you were here at all.

I take a sip of the cold coffee. It’s the same cheap blend I’ve bought for years, but it tastes different.

Odd, I think. The Germans probably have a word for that.

Freelance writer and journalist.

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