The wood beneath my fingers was cold and glassy. It was heavy, but not from the weight of the wood, cheap with dust filings layered between like frosting in a cake. And that weight could not compare to the heaviness inside my chest, so overwhelming that i couldn’t tell whether my shoulders were aching because of that burden, the gloom in the air or the actual wood.
We walked down the aisle, in the mourning silence, under tired eyes. i focused on the shattered window ahead of me that fractured the sun’s light, glass reflections, red and blue and orange. They casted a soft glow like moonlight onto us, and i imagined your eyes shining with the same quiet darkness. A strange moment of still peace in the dimly lit hallway and then they started singing, a verse from the Bible that i couldn’t understand. You would have scoffed and frowned at those soft voices, would have turned away with that familiar cold silence and swore under your breath, the harsh syllables cutting through the song like a blade and
i thought to myself,
nevermind that your voice would have rattled my ears and the room, spittle and rage and fury flying in the air. If only i could have told you then, that it was wrong, because i knew, i really did, that you were the most alluring symphony in this world; but the writer was cruel to compose the notes after the coldest, harshest winter winds, strung up all wrong, unpleasant and terrible to the ears….should i have screamed, you wouldn’t have heard me anyway….
Light snow falling, a white background with hundreds of people, shadows in the city. i stand in the middle of that crosswalk, snowflakes melting and dripping in my eyes, icy hands tucked in my coat pocket. Hello, i beckon to the stifling silence that is the city, Are you there? looking into strangers faces, hoping and dreading. you don’t answer and
i am thankful for that.
The procession continued and no one complains of the aching shoulders. Every step echoed around the empty walls and chairs, unbelonging amidst the strange, silent peace, until we finally reached the steps and suddenly i was scared i would forget you, because i did not know what to remember. what words could have described you?
you had always wielded them like a sword, all fangs and blood. i wondered if you knew the power you held, armed with that blade. i couldn’t brandish them the way you did, so swift and mercilessly. Vacant grey background with a chair in the middle. You, hunched over on the chair, peering into a small phone screen, elbows propped on knees, an empty face illuminated. You turn when i call, eyes wide and head slightly tilted, face open and phone forgotten. What, you ask. Nothing much, i said, because i had only wanted to feel the warmth. The soul, vulnerable, warm and beautiful and so very human inside you, because sometimes it was hard to remember and sometimes i wondered if an empty husk of a vessel could contain such a thing.
i lamented then, that even now-surrounded by shadowy mourners, blanketed with the hushed notes of the hymn-i still did not know who to remember you as. i wished to seen you one more time, but i would have stood there, silently, like an injured dog unable to move, the empty space between us a thousand steps wide. Remember the tears you collected, the blood you drew, the silent screams still trapped in my throat, like waking up from a nightmare, sore all over?…i could have forgave you;
even the finality of it all would torment me, you knew, it would linger like a shadow forever, mocking and taunting and teasing me, be the last thing you could do to me
i could have forgiven you,
but it was only because there was nothing and no one to forgive anymore.