Part 1 of 2
I didn’t get the chance to say goodbye.
It haunts me down to this day. It may haunt me forever. An obdurate shadow at the back of my mind. A castaway shackled in a closed-off room in my heart.
I remember coaxing her once lustrous hair, now a dry and damaged mop, to one side so I could kiss her warm forehead. It used to be warmer. I tell her to be strong.
“I’ll be back in a few hours.”
There’s no answer. There are no sounds other than the faint beeps of a heart monitor and her tired and troubled breathing. I pause to take her in. Vacant washed-out globes had replaced the eyes that once had been full of life, love, and wanderlust. Shallow breaths from her chapped lips. Yellow and pale taking over the vibrant pink in her skin. Her hands twitching from unknowable pain. For a second it courses through me as well. Strings are pulled inside me. I wince. I reach for her hand and envelop it with both of mine. She must have used all the strength she had left when she lightly held on to my hands. It takes all of my own strength to keep from crying.
A voice inside says I can’t leave. Continue reading