After dessert, we liked to take walks by the creek. The air tickled my face as I breathed in the life around me. Sometimes I sang to you, my eighteen-year-old voice thriving now, winning that college scholarship in the Arts. We waded in streams, fierce hearts pounding, water gushing over toes, the warmth of my body burning my cheeks like lava.
Every week, there were those doctor appointments. We were baffled by the reports, his findings. My fist clenched while his lips moved with the medical jargon I couldn't fully understand. There was less time, but I waited with the courage I'd stuffed somewhere. Outside, the pine trees swayed. People were chatting, laughing as we sat in the cold room, minds racing to the rhythm of my fears. On the way home, everything shifted. The sky was eerie blue, winds whistled against the sunroof. When the rain came, I watched the drops roll down the clear glass. In the silence, a branch snapped from a flimsy oak rolling around with a sudden fury that turned and roared inside me.
Just moments before the storm breaks, I do.
My bedroom was spacious, but cluttered. I shuffled this, tossed that as I desperately searched for some kind of order. Outside there were spring colors: soft teals, yellows and vibrant pinks. Still, I stayed behind the windows where things were familiar, safe. The sky’s not enough for me now.
It’s our final trip to the hospital. Food has become tasteless, but I pretend I have an appetite for you. I was thirsty, so damn thirsty, but nothing satisfied me so I poured more water and watched the ice float around in a plastic cup.
And then, poof, like that, you were gone.
I found I wasn’t as strong as I wanted to be. I slept for days and days until you came to me, floating aimlessly in a dream, leaving me breathless when I opened my eyes.
You, my tiny wonder, that dear boy, the one I let slip away.