The ways in which individuals deal with the prospect of an uncertain future. Individuals may deal with the prospect of an uncertain future by refusing to move forward due to fear, causing them to be stuck in their past.
That’s what I keep saying; I can’t.
The idea of letting go of him kills me. His beautiful smile, his way with words; they can’t really be gone, can they?
He’s perfect. With eyes so rich you could drown in their secrets, and arms like that of an ocean; push you out and then pull you back in.
But the mystery isn’t so mysterious once you figure him out. He likes chocolate, the smell of fresh laundry, and sleeping with the window open. He likes it when I pin back my hair because he says he can see the way I crinkle my eyes when I smile better. He doesn’t like movies because he says the book is always better. He likes the comfort and smell of freshly baked bread in that of a warm kitchen.
Red, yellow, orange; that is his colour palette. He paints sun and I paint fire. With him, it always feels like I am floating in a sky of endless clouds. So how on earth am I supposed to learn to live without him? Is it even possible for me to feel alive without all the reds, yellows, and oranges I now cannot see?
Denial doesn’t bring back the dead, I know that; so why do I feel like it will? Like if I pretend the accident never happened, he will come back home. He will crawl into bed with me and place a delicate kiss on my cheek before slipping into a peaceful slumber of his own.
Soon seconds turned to minutes, minutes turned to hours, hours turned to days and days turned to months. Before I even realized it, 4 months had passed. I locked myself in my mind on the first Monday in July, the day of the accident. Now it is October.
The leaves have fallen from the trees and the grass has turned dull. With him, I saw the beauty in the fall and the vibrancy in the colours. But now all I see is death. The skeletons of the trees, the death in the grass, the dryness and dust in the air. Everything was dying or dead, soon to be buried beneath a blanket of snow.
The colours he has so gracefully painted on my heart with precision and care had been bleached and burned off, leaving only a terrible ache.
I still come to the front door at 3:45 pm, the time he usually got home. His shoes and jackets still reside in the hallways closet, as do his clothes in our bedroom. I don’t think I can ever learn to live without him; It’s almost like I’m afraid I will forget him.
I start to cry. It still feels like a Monday in July, time for me stopped but the world kept going. I got trapped in the present I did not want to become my past. My hands are grasping at nothing, flailing in hopes I can grab hold of him before he slips into a dark abyss. An abyss that no longer seems frightening, but in fact, seems tempting.
Winter came and went, so did spring. It is now, again, the first Monday in July. He still hasn’t come home and isn’t going to. I learned that I can’t live without him. I don’t want to live without him; I am afraid to live without him.
I too, soon, slip into the dark abyss he once did. Gone and forgotten. His shoes still on the rack and watch still on our bedside table. Everything was still.
We both slipped silently away on the first Monday of July.