Snippet: Gone

You say it’s enough, but it isn’t. That is what is standing between you and him, in the dead of night, when you wake up but don’t feel comfortable enough to rub his shoulder until he relents, inch by inch, to spin around and reward you with a comforting smile. It is this that makes you lay awake longer than you should and learn how in the moonlight shadows grows long, just like sunlight, and what makes you hear the tick of the clock like a bomb defuser knows a bomb. These are nights where wakefulness knows no bounds, because nightmares are ever more radical, and as you count his breaths-one, two, in out-you know that the night isn’t the reason why. It is ever more deeper than that, fathomless as the sky. Stars persist in the fabric of the day as they do night. This ticking away of time does not scare you as much as that other thing does.

The nights go on and on and the days pass with the same breathlessness as a stopwatch. The sunflowers you planted push their nubs out of the soil and grow. The sunny window side plants collect sunshine and close when night falls. Once you had awoken and reached for water on the nightstand. When the slippery glass jumped from your fingertips, your heart flew onto your sleeve. The quick glug of water as it was returning into the ground nearly made you puke. But you do not.

Now you wake up and he is not there. The word family stirs through your sleep ladden brain, sinking through layers of translucent thought before finally settling in an uneasy silt. Isn’t a family supposed to stay together? Wake up together?

That is when you remember.

He has been gone for a month.


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