i thought i heard her voice. it was definitely hers. i could feel my heartbeat accelerate as i heard the touch of humour and affection in the words. but when i looked around it wasn’t her. it was no one at all.
i was back in school. the ground around me was empty, except perhaps dotted with a few unswept leaves. i was sitting on the marble quite frankly alone.
my heart- such a dreamer, i tell you- stuttered to a stop. i could feel the now obvious void grow into me, turning my eyes glazy and chilling the blood that had seemed to stop pounding through my everywhere.
it was then that i understood what pain was. it was on that glorious summer day that i figured how hard it was to live with a loss.
empty, not even hurt. that was what i felt. emptiness was no better though. it was worse. like stripping a snail off its shell and saying to it, “go on. you’re free”. not realizing that you had ripped it away from its home. you had simply wanted to free it from its burden. simply wanted to help. but you hadn’t. you never had.
that evening i opened my laptop, relishing the fact that it was fully charged- as alive as i was. probably more. somewhere outside the window i saw a sparrow cuddle close to another sparrow and i remembered how tired i was.
i logged on to the internet, my fingers tapping on the keys as if they were built for that very purpose.
i opened her page, and wrote her a message. all it said required pressing two keys: ‘:’ and ‘)’. i hit Send, hoping she’d reply. hoping she’d smile back.
i saw my laptop’s screen darken, and then finally dissolve into blackness when i turned it off. again the feeling of being exhausted to the bone overwhelmed me.
before falling asleep, my last thought was how happy that voice had sounded to my ears. if only my eyes had seen her happiness too. i surrendered myself to sleep.