Today I wake up early. Because I’ve become a morning person. I didn’t use to be, but I’ve begun to appreciate the small minutes in life when things are quiet around me, and I can hear myself think. I turn on the coffee pot first, because we have one of those now, and put two cups on the counter. Just like you used to, only yours were tall paper cups, from the coffee shop.
It’s the weekend, and you’ve decided that you’d rather stay with me. My arms around your waist tell you just how happy that makes me. We spend the day in the city. There’s a book you want to show me. It’s leather bound, with illustrations that make me smile. You knew that they would. In the checkout line your fingers slip past me for a chocolate bar, and I reach forward and grab one too.
Tonight you take me dancing, and I tell you I love it. Because I love dancing now, I learned how just for you. And when you pull me to the corner to sneak a kiss, I kiss you back. Because I don’t mind anymore. The lights are dim and the wood is solid beneath our feet, and we are happy.
It’s past midnight and we fall in bed together. I don’t tell you to not steal the blankets, and you don’t push my feet away when their coldness touches your legs. My hand is on your cheek, and you let my fingertips trace your lines. You pull me close and we talk until our words are spent and our eyes are heavy. We drift to sleep, and even when I roll away, your hand finds mine between the sheets.
The sunlight streams in, and my hands aren’t wrapped in yours anymore. My back is cold, and not because you stole the blankets. You see, you’re not here to steal blankets anymore. You haven’t been for weeks.
It was the weekend. And you decided to drive north, you left me a coffee on the counter, a tall papered confection from the coffee shop you loved. I went to the bookstore alone, and found the novel I had been looking for, full of lines you would laugh at me for reading. I walked past the chocolate bars, they were always your weakness, never mine.
That night we were supposed to go dancing. I learned how to salsa, just for you. But the doorway stayed empty, and you never came home. I tried to visit your grave again, but I’m never able to make it past the front door.
It’s always past midnight when I try to fall asleep. And I picture your face in the pillow next to mine. I close my eyes, and I almost smile when I think of how I always tried to trace the lines on your face. I slip my hands under the covers and pretend to find your hand beneath the sheets, and wonder what it would feel like to have you pull the blankets toward you…. Just one more time.