It was a black night. I remember staring at the window, wondering who closed the sky, who banished all the stars. Light rain trickled outside, breaking the thick darkness that seemed never ending. I’m pretty sure I’m about to philosophize on life, the setting called for it, but all thought abandon me when I saw her.
Something’s wrong. She’s always prided herself for being a good liar but I knew her too well. Her smile didn’t reach her eyes, her eyes had that universe-collapsing-help-me look. I turned to the window once more and my eyes searched the evening. Could her agony be causing all this?
“Weird night, huh?” There’s another fake smile. I nod and start making tea. Maybe if I didn’t face her, it would be easier for her to let it out – whatever it is – but I finish with the two cups and she has yet to budge.
“Here,” I hand her the cup. “With organic honey. It’s very good.” Her icy fingertips touched mine as she took it and I noticed the shaking of the cup that she tried and failed to hide. I’m not certain how long we sat in silence but when she finally told me what’s wrong, I wish she hadn’t.
“I couldn’t remember his smile.” Her voice was controlled panic and her gaze went to the ceiling, probably worried it would collapse on her once she put the truth out there. “I’m sitting there looking out the window to the blackest of nights and it occurred to me his smile has vanished from my memory. His smile that I adore. His smile that meant the world to me.”
She’s talking about him in past tense. What did that mean? I couldn’t bring myself to reply for I fear the answer myself so I just nodded again, willing her to go on.
“I’m scared to death.”
I closed my eyes, the words stabbing me hard I had to rub my hand on my chest. There’s no physical wound but I knew I’m bleeding. My gaze returned to her, the lady the reflection of my own. Her last words echoing amidst the hollow that I’ve become.
Lightning ruptured outside and for a moment it all went dark, the absence of light seeping under my skin I thought it’s consuming me. When it returned, I’m alone again, the coming storm intensifying.
Photo taken from here.