CW: Death, grief, loss of a loved one.
The stars no longer shine since you’ve been gone. They hide behind the clouds and twinkle faintly, like the fire in my heart, which sputters and dwindles. Your absence is more noticeable with each passing day. The bookshelves that once held your favorite books are now empty, and I no longer see your favorite mug lying around with a drag of coffee still in it. Your clothes I keep still, but they lie untouched in the bottom drawers, where I hope they will retain your scent.
The nights are cold without you there to hold me. The hearth heats the apartment, but its warmth can't seem to reach my poor bones, chilled by the absence of love. I sit alone on the couch, wrapped snuggly in a faded plaid blanket, thinking of better days. We used to make love on that same couch, bathed in the warmth of the fireplace and our passion, oblivious to the rest of the world.
Our bed feels huge with just me in it, and the mattress no longer remembers the shape of your body. My nightmares chase me; now that my guardian is gone. I wake up shaking and turn to hug you, but all my hands grasp is air before falling clumsily on the bed. Where are you, my love? Where have you gone without me?
I read the letters you wrote me in the honeymoon of our love, now yellowed and wrinkled from the passage of time and my hands running over them. I caress the pages as if they were your hands, wishing I could touch them one more time. Your crooked smile appears before me when I close my eyes and reminisce, but those black eyes I once saw with clarity seem blurry now. They are but a distant memory of the mark they left on my soul.
I can still hear your voice, if only faintly. It whispers 'I love you's' and whimsical ideas, such as wanting us to share a lifetime of happiness. You promised me the world and showered me with gifts and whatnot, even made it official, as the fancy ring I still wear on my finger likes to remind me. Was it true, my love? Did you really love me? The silence in the living room says otherwise. All I hear is the pitter-patter of the rain on the rooftop, rain that wipes out all remaining traces of your footsteps on the sidewalk.
And still, I see your ghost everywhere: at the park across the street where we would go for moonlit walks; at the bus station, where we first met; in the vegan restaurant near your workplace you used to like so much. Your shadow follows me. It will not leave me alone. I try to forget you, but I don't want to. I try to remember you, and it just hurts more. How I long for just one more day with you, I would do anything to see you once more and tell you how much I love you. Anything.
I feel so selfish, blaming you for my sorrow. I try, you know. I try so hard to be happy on my own, to uphold and honor your memory. But it is just so hard to live when I don't know how to breathe without you here. You always wanted me to be free, but you played dirty and stole my mind, captivating me with that gorgeous brain of yours. Taking my heart was easy after that. It was only a matter of time before I fell hopelessly for you. And yet, I was never truly yours, though I’m no longer fully mine. In your absence, I have withered. I am fading.
If you knew...Oh, how things have changed now that you're gone. It feels like centuries have come and gone since your passing, even though it has only been a few years. The piano sits alone in the attic now, permanently collecting dust. I cannot bear to play again, not without you there to inspire me. The song I would sing for you seems hollow on my lips now. It obstructs my throat and loses meaning if my tongue attempts to caress it.
You were here one moment and gone the next. Gone, gone, my steadiness. One minute I was walking home from work, then the next, I was answering that hated phone call. My whole world came crashing down within seconds, that fateful night when you were taken from me. If I had known hearing a few simple little words would hinder my any chance of being happy ever again, I never would have answered.
Time stood still for a couple of seconds, and then I dropped to my knees, gasping for air. I prayed, like never before, begging for a miracle. I heard sirens in the distance, and the next thing I knew, I was running, trying to catch up with them. When I lost them, the smoke became my guide, and I came to a stop a few blocks back from the fire. Tears streamed down my face as I watched your office burn down.
How did this happen? We were supposed to be together forever. I hardly recall the rest of the night, since I blacked out and woke up the next morning in a hospital bed. It was a most pitiful scene, to see the nurses looking at me so solemnly. They would apologize to me constantly, and I thought it was because of you. Then I heard one of them whispering to another: "The shock must have done it, poor thing, to lose her husband and her unborn child on the same day."
Your sister and my mother took turns taking care of me the following months. I could barely function, numb with grief. Our child, honey. My one memento of you, forever lost. I'm better now, I think. But sometimes, I falter. And today, on what would have been our tenth anniversary and our child's fourth birthday, I yearn for your embrace and the babe's sweet peals of laughter.
Come back, my love, once more, and give me back my peace of mind. I’m begging you, darling. I can’t survive like this, don’t make me follow you where I shouldn’t.