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If you were here, I’d be home now. Home is where you are. You always said that train rides were sources of inspiration, but I just stare out of the window at the passing landscape. Its beauty means nothing to me, now that you are gone. A pen and pad lies neglected on my lap; it is hard to write an eulogy that is not a love letter.
How can I escape buildings, landscapes, songs and signs? You wink inside melodies, recite lines in cinemas, and live behind my eyes. The walls carry you, graffiti expressing the lines and curves of your body; you are everywhere and nowhere. I run my fingers along bricks until they're red and raw. Blood seeping under the nails in my search for you, a presence beside me on the train, near my bed at night, running your fingers through my heart. Always there but hiding inside, afraid of how I might run away from embracing arms, eyes that see behind mine into yesterday's darkness, today's pain.
I saw you before I met you. In deepest sleep; warm slumber. Your eyes cast shadows on my heart; cooled my skin. In the distance, the flutter of a thousand paper birds took flight (the letters you wrote). When I woke, I found the sun sitting, quiet and still, on my windowsill. A golden lollipop. A promise of the beauty to come. The clouds, the clouds, they keep silent, all the time. All the time I'm dreaming about your warmth, once everlasting. What are you, clouds, seeking for in my lonely room? She is not here, she is not here. Come, visit my dreams, don't cover me with shadows. Stand out of my sunlight!
I place the pen and pad on the vacant seat next to me and head towards the lounge car. The train conductor asks to see my ticket and reminds me to keep it handy at all times. The lounge car is quiet and I order an earl grey tea, the type that you liked and converted me to. I pick up the too-hot tea and sip, burning my lips, my throat. The pain a welcome manifestation of loss. The train slows and I look out the window. I see the red hair first. It whips in the wind, curls waving wildly as if to say, "Try and tame me." Our eyes meet as my train passes. Yes. It's you.
We were always in the right place at the wrong time you and I. It was all there from the beginning, the Missed Connection in the Voice, always just missing each other. Haunted
and inexplicably trapped, in a rip in the fabric of time, terrified I will never see you again.
At my seat, I stare at the blank page. What kind of emptiness is this, that fills you up? I selfishly do not want to share your death; nobody reserves the right to mourn you but myself. I knew you the most. Finally, for the first time, the flood gates open. I weep. Hard. Catharsis does not come.
Forgive me, but please, never forget me.
I look at what I have written. It doesn't make sense, but it does. Even in death, I don't want her to forget me. I cannot forget her. I hate I remember most about her is her last days, the sickly smiles, the blood streaked bedsheets. I could have done more. Tried harder. The tears come easier now.
I look out from the inside of the train at the window framed landscape panning by, left to right, left to right in front of me and take another sip of the earl grey.