It’s become harder and harder to talk about Kim being gone, so I became aware at some undefinable point that I’ve shifted almost entirely to talking about him as if he’s just around the corner. It’s probably not a good thing, but I don’t care; it’s one of the few quiet lies that has kept me sane. I even talk to him every day, out loud, or make mental notes of things I want to tell him or show him when I see him next, which, in my head, is always going to be in just a few hours. When he comes home.
But then a day comes like today. His birthday.
These sort of days begin creeping into my thoughts weeks ahead of time, making my illusion more and more apparent to myself, making me slip.
Earlier this week, out of nowhere, the memory popped into my head of how we spent our birthdays, just the two of us, having dinner at our favorite restaurant and how afterward we would walk all the way down one side of the street and up the other, many blocks, in the freezing late-night cold, holding hands and looking in the brightly-lit windows of closed shops, telling each other funny stories, laughing.
And it suddenly hit me that we’ll never do that again. Ever. I can see it so clearly, I can see the lights and feel his hand in mine and hear him laugh, but we are NEVER going to do that again.
When that thought hit me, I dropped as all the blood suddenly rushed from my head in this moment, this awful horrible moment when bastard truth rushed in uninvited, punched me in the gut, and told me he was gone.
So on days like today, when the lie doesn’t stick and I know he really is gone, I still try to pretend, but I’m aware of the pretense. Not like other days. I still sit and watch the clock, waiting for him to come home, but today I know it’s a lie. Today I know he won’t.
So today I’ll sit here, watching the clock, watching minutes tick by, sick with truth, and wait for tomorrow.