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The castle was where I first met her. Not a real castle. This is not a prince and princess story. It was a derelict five-storey building behind the guava groves next to McArthur Road. Time had eaten away at its walls. The brickwork lay exposed in places and layers of algae were slathered across the parapet like shaving cream. No one lived there anymore, no one visited it. Perfect for two lovers. We found the privacy we desired in its crooked corridors and it became our castle.

Last year, she suddenly remembered it again. Decades had passed but I cancelled my meetings and we drove to that part of town. No more guava trees but the building was still there. We sat on the dusty stairs leading up from the basement and tried to talk. Sometimes, the silences had a louder voice. There is an eerie nostalgia in revisiting the spot where a relationship first kindled. A bit like visiting your childhood home. This is where it all started, where you left a piece of yourself when you departed. Perhaps we went back because we wondered what we had left behind. We wondered if we could find it again.

the castle crumbles
in a cloud of choking dust.
she wants a divorce.

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