“You look tired,” she says behind my back. I’m looking outside the window, hands in my sweat pants pockets. The night is still, star bright and cold. I take a deep breath and turn my head to the side, “Glad you see that. What else do you see?” Was that rude? I’m broken. She is silent. The bed creaks, I turn around, she stands and slowly walks towards me. “I see pain, defeat, loneliness, anger…you are broken.” I look back to the window. I can’t look at her, the way her eyes pierce through mine is….. My throat clumps up, I want to cry. She is right behind me, I can feel her breathe, slow and calm.
“Are you afraid of me?” I’m I afraid of her? Or I’m I afraid of me? I bite my lip to hold back my tears, “No I’m not,” I clear my dry throat, “emotions are running through me right now but fear is not one of them.” The first tear rolls down. She places her arm on my right shoulder in a bid to turn me around, “Look at me. I want to see you.” I slowly turn around, she steps back to allow me space. I look at her forehead not her eyes. My lips are quivering, one more word from her and I’m done. “Not my forehead T, my eyes.” she brings her right palm to my cheek and I break down.
I cry…Lord, I cry. She holds me and that does not help at all. She is a foot and half shorter than me so me knees are slanted. Her shirt (shoulder) is wet from my tears but she does not mind. She does not say anything, she knows better.
I pull back, wipe the tears from my cheeks with my palms and pull up the edge of my vest to wipe the snot under my nose.
I bite my tongue, my left arm behind my neck, “Why did you leave me C? Look at me, do I even look like the T you used to know, your T?” She does not answer me instead she walks back to bed, wait for it and sits.
“Do spirits get tired that fast?” I lean on the wall next to the window. She does not answer the latter, “I did not leave you. I’m here with you right now, that gives. You…” I interrupt her, “But for how long? You could vanish anytime from now, you are a spirit, right?” She sighs. I know I’m acting like a jerk, I know.
“I will not speak to you until you come and sit next to me, T.” She pats on the space next to her. I look at the space, her palm on the space. I stare. “T?” I’m startled I look at her, her head leaning on the side beckoning me over. I walk towards her and sit but not close to her. “Stop acting like a child,” she lightly spanks my thigh, “and move closer.” Now that’s my C. The C I want right now. The C I know. The C I need. “I see you are back,” I move closer, so close.
Silence. Good silence. We are both taking in the moment. This won’t last long, we both know.
“How have you been since I…I…” I say it for her, “Died?” She breathes out and nods her head. “Lonely…sad…um, moody but hopeful. Our babies give me hope, they make me laugh too at times.” I chuckle remembering those times. She smiles. “Have you seen them, I mean visited them?” I ask her looking at her fingers—she’s picking her nails. “Not yet.” “Do you plan to?” I look at her. “Yes. T, I’m always here with you, our babies, everyone I love. I know it’s hard for that to sink in but there is something called faith.” I keep quiet. And no I’m not letting that sink in, that will happen later. I need to talk her because I don’t know how much time I have with her. Sucks.
“Are you happy?” I take her hand in mine. “Yes I am T and I also want you to be happy.” she beams. Is it bad that I’m jealous that I’m not the one making her happy? “Did you feel sad when you left me, our babies?” I rub her palm with my thumb. “Of course I did T!” she looks at me in disbelief. “How could you even ask that?” She pulls away her palm. “Please don’t pull way from me, please C,” I take it back. “It’s just the way you said you were happy and…. forget it. That was so stupid of me, I’m sorry.” I look at her eyes. “Very very stupid.”this woman insists. “Are you even a spirit? You are more of my C than a spirit.”
She lies on her back, I join her and we both look up at the wooden ceiling, our legs dangling on the edge of the bed.
“Tell me what is in your mind right now.” she says. “How much time do we have?” I ask. “If you began right away it would be better.” she replies. Her world knows no time, I think.
I put my right arm behind my head, “I wish I could turn back time because Lord knows you would have been alive right now. C, it’s not easy at all. Everything seems hard, even the little things: ironing my clothes, polishing my shoes, cleaning our babies, changing the diapers has become even harder. I’m a mess. Look at this hand,” I show her the faint marks, I continue, “I was burnt by hot oil and no it was not alot C it was just stupid onions that ended up burning!” I sigh in frustration.
She takes my hand and I pull her to my chest. She is quiet, I think that means I should continue.
“C, I need a favour?” She looks up at me, I take my eyes off the ceiling and look at her. “What is it T?”
“Help me C. The only thing I need is help, your help. Help me to move on. Help me get my shit together. Help me be a father to our babies. Help me be a friend once again. Help me be a son to our parents. Help me be a human being one more time. Help me clean this mess, please.” I cry, I break down…again.
She wipes my tears with her palm and I catch it to kiss it.
“I will help you.” she whispers staring at my eyes. She holds the stare for some time, when I’m about to speak she rises.
“Where are you going?” I ask sitting up. “It’s my time to go.” she softly says looking at me. “Go where? This is your home.” this is what I dreaded. “This was my home,” she emphasizes on the, ‘was’. She continues, “Now this world is not my home.” I find it difficult to breath. I walk towards her and take her left hand.
“You are leaving me?” I’m lost for words. She places her right palm on my cheek, I lean towards it and close my eyes. “I’ve never left you T.” She whispers.
I open my eyes, “When are you coming back?”
“I’m always here.”
No…no…no…C? C? Please… please don’t go C. C?
I open my eyes. My pillow is wet. I’m dump, my chest is sweaty.
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