Sunday evening. The clouds are hovering low on the horizon. The sun is sinking. And then there’s just us.
Here at the end of the boardwalk, where the wooden boards are chipping, we stood there, waiting.
I placed my hand on her shoulder and felt it. I turned away so those old eyes couldn’t see me.
If by miracle she knew, she didn’t say anything. She just looked at the waves crashing onto the shores and breathed in and breathed out. Breathe in and breathe out. There was not much else that her body could muster.
You know that feeling that you get when you know it’s going to be the final time? It’s not something you become aware of because we like to believe in fairytales that never end. When reality crashes through the delusions we tell ourselves, after the initial shock, it’s a gradual descent of memories and emotions that builds on itself and collapses into a mess that refuses to pick itself up and simply. Stop. Crying.
So there we were, our final trip together. A day not unlike so many others, but punctuated by the end. I already know what’s coming. How can I not know the drowning and the thoughts that haunt you with regrets? How can I not know the sorrow that diffuses into your identity, a constant leech of your happiness, and the hole that oozes of heartbreak no one can heal? How can I not know the hollow support that never fully reaches you but echos just enough to mock you? How can I not know the ones that don’t dare take a step through the door so they don’t see what’s raw? How can I not know the alienation and the isolation, the feeling that no one can understand this pain?
The stars grew brighter as the sun disappeared. It was time to go, and there wasn’t much that could said about what needed to happen. I took her with me. I shut her eyes, and singing softly for her but secretly for me, I said goodbye to this reality one last time.