Drifting.

Like so many times before, you welcome me with open arms. I give you a firm hug, a hug that says I’ve missed you. You laugh and smile, but I know that it’s not for me.

It doesn’t reach your eyes. It’s the smile you give to strangers, to people wheeling past.

Remember the times when we laughed about how our professors spoke with a weird voice? Or that time when you slept over at my place and we talked about deep topics? You had opened your heart to me back then.

What about now?

With withering hands, I hold on tight to the jewel that has been my life’s treasure; with politeness you throw it into the horizon like a skipping stone.

In the dark, midnight sky, I watch as it falls like a shooting star.

Enchanted.

Ah, there you were. You wave and your smile sends butterflies to the depths of my belly. You were always a charmer. One smile and I’m done for.

You set me off into a fast waltz–one two three, one two three–flustered, I stumble and fall. You hold me close against your chest and my vision blooms bright pink. It blossoms like a flower and my heart takes a deep dive.

My breath hitches as our fingers entwine. Oh dear lord, this is what paradise feels like. Bewitched, I sink into your hazel orbs.

Deeper, my heart screams, deeper.

If you asked me, I would follow you wherever. A sigh escaped my lips. Wherever.

 

Popcorn?

My heart skipped a beat as he took a step towards me.

All I could think about were his eyes–his beautiful double-lidded, almond-shaped eyes. They had this reddish brown hue to them, like the bark of a tree mixed with the last rays of the setting sun.

“Hey,” he said as he wrapped his arms around my waist.

“Yes?” My voice felt like a whisper as I leaned into his warmth.

He placed his hand against my cheek gently, tilting my chin slightly upwards as he studied my eyes. The hand-and-tilting-cheek-gesture was always his signal for something romantic. Was he going to plant his lips on mine? Was he going to sway side to side in a slow dance? My heart shuddered and held its breath. There was ambience and all I could hear was the beeping of the washing machine.

“Popcorn.”

“Popcorn?”

“Popcorn.”

A laugh escaped my lips. “Right now? It’s almost midnight!”

He flashed me his signature thousand-volt smile and a stubborn nod. Oh boy. That meant he was going to have his popcorn no matter what. Even if he had to wrestle me to the ground for it.

Just one of the many sides of love I guess.

Here.

“Do you remember me?” I asked and stared into his eyes. His beautiful, double-lidded, hazel eyes.

He shook his head with an expression of both confusion and recognition. It was just after lunch. I couldn’t help but notice how his dark brown hair became an amber halo in the afternoon sun.

“Why do you keep asking me?” He frowned, his eyebrows arching in a questioning stare.

It was day fifty-one.

To him, I was probably this weird person whom he saw everyday, asking if he had any imaginary memories of me. If he did have memories of me, it was probably of me popping around randomly like a lost bunny.

He liked bunnies. He also liked draping his arm around my shoulder and I liked it when he did because it felt like home. I love you so much, he would say, his lips brushing against mine. He loved steak, sausage dogs and shadow boxing too.

Everything seemed surreal the night I received the call.

“There was a trauma to his head,” said the Doctor after the surgery. He had this clipboard in his arms and he was cloaked in white, like a messenger from God. “It’s fortunate that he’s alive. Give him some time.”

Give him some time. The words echoed endlessly in my head and I took in his blank, curious eyes. Part of me wanted to give up, yet part of me screamed for him to remember. It was weird, almost as if I had this split personality inside of me. Sometimes, there was this rage, this unstoppable anger that was like a wildfire. Then there was the deep pool of sadness.

I stood, plastered a smile on my face and waved goodbye.

“See ya tomorrow.” He said, his large hand waving goodbye.

The familiar phrase rang in my ears like a fire alarm; I couldn’t get any sleep that night.

It was day fifty-three. Like always, I went to the hospital for the daily visit. I caught him looking out of the mirror, his eyes moving from side to side as he watched cars drive past. He was so much like his old self that I almost ran into his arms. Almost.

“Hi.” I strode into the room and placed a subway bacon sandwich by his bedside.

“Is that for me?”

“Yup, thought you might like it more compared to the bland hospital meals.”

“That’s for sure.” He flashed his trademark lopsided grin and I stared at him, wide-eyed. It was the first time I had seen his old grin, the first in fifty-three days.

“Do… do you,” I paused and gulped hard. “Do you remember me?” A tiny speck of hope fluttered in my chest and my heart hammered against my ribcage.

“No.”

My heart sank. What was I expecting? Of course he wouldn’t like all the other days. If he did, he wouldn’t be looking at me like that with those sad hazel eyes.

On day fifty-four, I broke my old traditional routine. Instead of visiting that stark white building that placed the old houses beside it to shame, I switched shifts with my co-worker. It was her anniversary. She beamed with happiness that shone through the dark clouds in my mind.

It was day sixty. It’s been six days since I last visited him. I wonder how he’s doing in that place that smells of medicine, chlorine and disease. My nose dripped and I blew it for the twentieth time. Damn colds.

It was three in the morning when the phone rang. I groaned. I didn’t want to answer it since it was all the way in the living room. I pulled the blankets tighter around my shoulders, cocooning myself like a caterpillar.

It rang again. And again. Exhausted and sluggish, I made my way to that damn phone on that damn coffee table. I swung myself onto the sofa and sank into it. It was the hospital. They probably needed more paperwork from me and they couldn’t wait till the damn morning.

“Yes?” I answered, an edge of anger to my voice. It probably sounded like I had a slug down my throat due to the cold. An all too familiar baritone rang in my ears and my eyes went wide despite my drowsiness.

“Hey it’s me… Sorry for calling at this hour.” His voice was apologetic and I could easily envision it squirming a little awkwardly in the palm of my hand.

“No it’s alright,” I smiled despite myself. It was hard to control. “What’s the matter?”

“Yes.”

“Yes?”

“To your question.” There was a long pause and all I heard was his ragged breathing.”I remember how much I love you Violet.”

Special.

Almond-shaped eyes

Short-cropped hair,

A charm that entrances

and blows me away.

A different kind of look

A little rugged, I like–

your smile is all so devious

as I fall into your arms.

You allow me to lead

each step, a slow waltz,

and watch from behind,

with those soft, twinkling eyes.

Silently;

You had gone in the middle of the night. The blankets on your side of the bed laid crumpled on the floor like the shedding of a snake. Your big camper bag was gone from the shoulders of the wooden chair.

The once feisty room now seemed empty and cold.

Ah, you had left a note on the bed. Your handwriting was so horrible it looks as if

“A flamingo tried to write, right?”

A laugh escaped from my chest and I remembered the way you covered your face with your palm in a pretense of embarrassment.

Thank you, the note said.

Were you truly thankful to have left me in this mess? With no direction, no map, this hollow emptiness and this pain… this, this heart-wrenching ache.

I ripped the note into pieces and wiped the tears from my cheeks.

Long ago;

I dreamt of old leaves and these huge, towering trees. The smell of rotting wood, sap and fertile soil mixed with the cool winds from the west.

A raven soared in the overhead canopy. Its wings were jet black with a sheen of silver. The cool air brushed against my skin, its touch chilly, and I took in the rich greenery of an everlasting haven.

“I’ll show you something.”

A mischievous glimmer shone in your amber orbs. Grinning, you ran from the base of one tree to the top of a moss-covered rock. It jutted out from the earth like the invasion of a wisdom tooth.

And there you were.

You flipped through the air like an elegant elf, twirling and flipping as the air carried you in its embrace. Your brown, short-cropped hair formed gentle, silk-like waves, your angled features serene in movement.

My breath hitched, caught like a hiccup.

There, was beauty in its entirety.

Then you were gone and I was alone, trapped in the emerald paradise.