The sun went down tonight and I waited to see what would happen. I waited to see if I had willed the sun to move backward, spinning us back two weeks.
On the way to the airport today I was lightly anesthetized, just enough to be barely conscious. My brain wouldn’t let me believe that it was time for you to leave. It was dancing around the daily administrative details, trying to decide what to think of, what to say, what to ask. It felt like you were going on a short one week trip, and you’d be right back in a few days assessing the lawn, the mail, and the finances. It felt nothing like the last time we said goodbye. It was silent. You opened your hand, and I laid mine there, inside of it, as we traveled over the bridge.
But when you kissed me on the airport curb this morning, I was suddenly frantic inside. I wanted time to stop moving. I wanted a do-over. I wanted so badly to feel closer to you, to remember more, to say more, to be more. I wanted you to be more. I wanted us to be more.
People who know that you left today ask how I am, and I don’t know the answer. I am more steeled and more resilient, more determined to get this next few months behind me. Behind us. Yet I’m also less energetic, less tolerant, less naive. And I’m less able to breathe, sometimes. Today I wasn’t able to breathe. I was choking. I was wounded.
But because the sun will keep setting while you’re gone, I will keep rising, and I will keep watching. We will get to try the “together” thing again, but this time without the two-week deadline, the unwritten rules, the necessary pretenses. And we will relax – really relax – and we will keep trying to find each other, no matter what.
Because I miss us more this time.
Come home, soon.
Come home and stay.