It’s a sunny summer morning. I am reading the news. I laugh uncontrollably at the ridiculous youtube video someone had sent me a link to, and then, look up from my computer across the table, to share my joy. The big black chair is empty.
I can hear the ticking of the hallway clock and it is distracting me from my reading. Somehow the perfect music to fit my mood doesn’t magically fill the room, like it had never before failed to do.
I find myself in the kitchen, distractedly making breakfast, amused by the antics of the tabby cat who lives by the window next door. I have made two bowls of cornflakes and now have no idea what to do with the second one.
Hunger strikes at 12 and I decide I still have enough time to head to the supermarket. Hunger strikes real hard at 2 and I realize I still have nothing to eat. I curl myself up on the sofa for my afternoon siesta, remembering the sweet rebuke that finds its way into my ears every time I miss a meal.
I never miss an evening coffee. But the thought of sitting across a table from the big black empty chair makes me skip the whole coffee ritual. It’s a beautiful evening and I don’t know what to do.
I decide to pick up a new book to read. I stare at the unread section of our bookshelves. I keep staring – perhaps if I stare long enough, I would hear the familiar voice recommending a book, persistent even after all these years, even though I never fail to remind him I need to really pick the book out on my own, and just to prove the point, pick something else.
It’s almost night, and the neighbor upstairs hasn’t finished fixing her Ikea cupboard. I look over the soft toys strewn across the sidetable and choose the ragged Winnie-the-poo, not least because of some cruel law of ageing magnets that had separated him from Tigger, to gripe to, about my neighbor’s impending nocturnal carpentry.
Some things are never easy, no matter how many times you have said them before. Goodbyes are one of them.
Some things are never said, no matter how easy they should have been. Telling someone that they are the center of your universe is one of them.