A work of fiction.
You are like the voices in my head, only louder. I can hear you more clearly. I know what you mean, like I know myself. Strange, isn’t it? You say things just as specifically as you mean them. You do not sugarcoat or even bother rethinking before you blurt it out.
I remember the day we went to the beach, and you just started to scream. You screamed on top of your voice at 2 in the morning. I felt weird. I honestly thought you were psycho. Who does that? Who screams so loud and not bother about what people might think? Of course, there weren’t too many people around, but that is weird. I was there. Staring with my eyes at you, but you had no care in the world about it. And when I asked, you remember what you said? You said, “I needed to get something off my chest, now it is the sea’s responsibility. She and the universe will work it out for me.”
I was in awe. And not just because I was mesmerized by how lively you were, spirited, and free. I felt so many things all at once, and it was challenging. Challenging is the word, yes. I could not express it to you because I did not want to be that guy who just finds something unusual in you and then falls madly in love with you. I did, though. I could not wait to spend days and days with you and see what they’d be like. Crazy? Wild? Toxic? Tragic? What?
You were effortlessly capable of making me feel things. So many things, all at once. I remember crying after our first fight because you said the harshest of the words and mean them all. I asked you if you meant them, I have a substantial memory of this, you said, “yes.”
I always wondered how you did that. I was still deeply rooted, an introvert, actually. It was always hard for me to express or even speak up. When I was around you, it felt like I was continually competing in life towards becoming my own better self. Every day. It was something. You know when you are in your 30s, and you want to start living a different life altogether. Abandon all the beliefs and start fresh. It was hard. But then I met you. You were this beam of hope, sunshine, a spark, a very bright one at that.
I was drowning, and you, you saved me.
Our first date was terrible. Really. You were very late and very, very angry with your boss. I had never heard a woman use so many bad words at speed like that. One dirtier than the other. After a while, it felt like you were really enjoying it. It was scary. I immediately wished I will never have to be in that place. You could kill with your words.
And it does not end there. You called me boring as I was dropping you off at the train station. You said it, just like that. Like it is a thing people say at the end of dates (no, they don’t). But you, you did.
I was so sure that there will never be a second date, but then you showed up at my work and gave me a call. “I am craving ice-cream for lunch, wanna grab some?” you said.
I was so pleasantly surprised, I did not even sign off on my laptop. I grabbed my coat and ran downstairs like a teenager. You brought it out in me. You made me feel excited to be excited. It sounds twisted, but that is how you made me feel. Like I was just living and not alive before I met you.
To be fair, it always helped that you were older. I always thought it was sexy. It is, after all, a fantasy for so many men. Dating an older woman. And a woman like you with such oomph.
You know, you grieved differently, though. It always confused me because it was unlike you to completely isolate yourself in a place for days until you started to feel better. You’d take off without any warning. Initially, it drove me really, really mad. But then I got used to it. We are all flawed like they say. We all grieve differently. I just always felt I was missing that piece from the puzzle. I had accepted it though, I was okay with an unfinished puzzle as far as it was you and me.
It took me 2 years to convince you to get married to me after being with you for 3 years already. That is 5 years of commitment I really should be awarded for. And I know what you would say to this, “I am your award.”
Our marriage was different. We never had secrets. We made pacts like friends do. We shared things, however hurtful. We were a little dramatic too. I mean, I had to try harder because of you. I never thought our marriage will be so unconventional and yet so traditional. It was a pleasant surprise. Unfolding every day with something new.
You remember when Moira was born? She was this cute little ball of pink flesh, and I couldn’t figure out if I will hold her right or just hurt her. I never spent time around babies, I was never fond of them, so how was I supposed to know? You were just perfect with her. You knew what to do and what not to do. It’s like women have this built-in software that automatically updates itself as soon as the parenting starts. Men suck at it. They need to be told. So many things, they need it all to be said.
But our Moira is a rebel, just like you. She is bold, and she knows what she wants and doesn’t fear away from asking. She misses you more than I do, I think. I have been trying to fill your shoes, but I know I will never succeed. She grieves the same way you did. In silence. I leave her alone, though. I don’t bug her like I used to do it to you. I think I am growing up too. She turned eight last week. You have no idea how fast she is growing.
She is a passionate kid, guess she gets that from you.
It has been 3 years today since you left us, but somehow, you are always there. We still talk about you in instances like you will come back. It bothers me. Every day. Not having you by my side. I never thought I was capable of so much sadness and all at once. There is this specific time of the day when your absence is so deeply felt, I want to rip my heart out of my chest and make it stop hurting. Because it hurts every single day. There are days when I wish it was me instead of you with that awful disease. You would have made such a better parent than me. You left us too soon, Reneé. Too soon.
Don’t worry, I remember my promise, I will write a book about you.