288 Days

I lost the necklace you gave me.

It must still be somewhere around the house, because I can feel its haunting presence reassure me that it lies waiting for the accident of its rediscovery. If that moment comes, would I celebrate? Would I cry? Would I not care? … Would everything come crashing back?

How long until I stop missing you?

The question was my good night and I always knew the answer by morning. When it rained, I wondered when it would stop making me remember the scratch of your sweater. When the sun cast its rays on the earth, I asked myself when it would finish reminding me of your dappled skin under the acacia tree. When would my heart no longer cry each time melodies gave me goosebumps? When could I look up from my feet without hoping you’d pass me by? When was I going to feel the world again, when you were the vigor of my senses?

It was never a question of how. There was no how. I could run a borderless plane and still be nowhere. No matter what I could have done, it would have been either a temporary fix or a futile escape, and all roads would circle back to you. Forgetting you would have been like trying to lose the tune to a mother’s lullaby. There was no how.

There was only when. Like the end of our time, the withering of our memories will be inevitable. There was nothing to do but suffer through until time had run its course. There were no questions of inefficiencies, no viral life-hacks. No one to convince, no standard to meet. No deadline. There were no honest shortcuts. It was humbling, the powerlessness I was subjected to. I was forced to just… be.

How long until I stop missing you?

The question was solemn and quiet and at the back of my mind through day and night, in the undertones of every hangout, weekly plan, checked-off to-do list. It was like a spool of thread falling off a cliff, irreversibly undoing itself until it was spent. It was like watching cut blossoms dry with no vase to put them in. It was like an autumn of the soul.

The memories have gathered dust. They sit like snow globes on the hearth of my heart. Curious mice and sentimental fingers stir them up sometimes – but they’re just little towns and little lives from an idyllic past I’m not living anymore; a rose shard that broke off from my glasses.

Everything is faded and filtered with your grey colors. I work and learn and play, and all the world continues to turn. But I don’t see gold in the sunshine anymore.

Maybe the prick of the heat will come soon enough. Maybe the ice will thaw into paths worn under treading feet. Maybe the sky will not be overcast. But when will the lights stop looking fluorescent? When would water no longer taste distilled? When will the air fill with open fields and garden scents?

If the chips fall and chance leads your necklace back to me, would I feel the spring?


 

The necklace has yet to be found, but the spring sun shines through my open window.

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