We do not do the clean break. We never allow closure. There is no neat conclusion when you have been entangled with our kind. You are not allowed the precise and final cut of the surgeon’s scalpel but instead you must be content with the rusty saw that has sought to effect an amputation but instead has merely created a grisly abomination whereby there remains tendrils attached and ragged and torn flesh. No matter how hot the water which flows in your shower and the vigour with which you scrub your reddened flesh, no matter how much detergent you apply and no matter whether you use scrubbing brush or wire wool you cannot remove that residue. We linger. We remain. We percolate and infiltrate.
This, like much of what we do, is a calculated act to maintain a connection between you and us. We can never let go so we see no reason why you should be allowed to either. The residue which we create and which you cannot remove, takes many forms. It may be the fact that we chose you when we worked together so that each day you have no choice but to see us across the floor space in the same office, in the cafeteria or striding across the car park. Once upon a time, like every good fairy tale, you smiled and you felt your heart skip a beat as you saw us exit the lift and smile at you. That wonderful smile which was just for you. Now when we exit the lift and our cold, dead eyes alight on you, the smile is no more than a sickly leer which slowly opens up across our face as we know the residue of our impact on your remains deep inside you. You are faced with this each day. It is either that or leave and go somewhere else and even though you know that the latter is probably the most appropriate cause of action, something prevents you from doing so. Is it because you still want to see us? Of course it is. You may very well hate us but you cannot still help yourself as you want to see what we are doing and allow yourself the indulgence of looking at us and remembering.
In a different way the residue may be the fact that we owe you money and you are left to contact us, despite not wishing to do so, because you want, no, because you need that money. After all, we leeched from you so successfully that we have left you in penury and you need this money to be reimbursed. Part of you would rather write it off and in doing so hope that you can scour us from your memory, but circumstance dictates the necessity of collection. We know this and we shall provide excuse and exhibit delay and prevarication in order to keep you hanging on and in order to keep the connection between us alive still. The money will be paid by the end of the week promise. Sorry but we had to have a new boiler fitted so it will be next month now. The bonus was not as large as had been promised so it will a further three months as I shall have to pay you by instalments. What money? I do not know owe you anything. We keep you dangling and pull at the connection that remains between you and I. If it is not money, then it will be possessions. We will purposefully leave our belongings in your house and you will repeatedly ask us to collect them. We issue similar excuses to the repayment of the borrowed money. I am a bit busy at the moment maybe next week. I need to collect it in a car and mine is in the garage at the moment. If the possessions are not ours at your property then we will have ensured that in addition or as an alternative we will have kept items belonging to you with us, causing you to have to keep some form of contact with us in order to recover them. We ensure we select those items which are expensive and of sentimental value so you will not be able to replace them but instead you must keep asking us for the items. We will string out the return of these items by failing to be in when you call to collect them, turning up to deliver them when you are not in, forgetting to do so and so forth. It all maintains the link between us and increases your upset, annoyance and frustration. We want to keep our residue in your life so that when we choose to make our move we can suck you back in without difficulty.
We will remain in the same circle of friends as you. With our notoriously thick skin we will still turn up to meals and drinks knowing that you will be there. You will feel uncomfortable and resent our intrusion. Third parties will try to keep the peace and of course we will maintain our façade in order to show that we are a good person and we are just trying to be civil following the ending of the relationship. You may react to this and it enables us to point out that you are unhinged, unpleasant and always have to bear a grudge. Is it any wonder that we left?
Whilst we create the ever presence so that you see us everywhere you go, in sounds, in sights and tastes, we also like to leave our mark on you, smearing you with the residue of the relationship so that you feel tainted for the rest of your life, marked with the repeated reminder that you have been embroiled in a relationship with us and moreover to let you know in the clearest terms that you will never be free of us. We can never be washed away.