Last night, I slept in your bed alone. For the first time in our relationship, I was in it without the mould of your body around me or the huff of your breath in my ear. Your hair did not swim on the pillow beside me nor did your fingers tap-dance their way to my chest to play music only we could hear. Instead I snored with a drunken face mashed against a pillow, my arms flailed like tied up yo-yo strings, and I may have even drooled a little.
Then I woke up and I thought I heard you in the living room. For a second, there you were click-clacking in the early morning. A coffee moustache lapped your upper lip and a strand of black hair hung from your head. Absorbed in your work, you didn’t notice it. So as you swayed left and right to the early morning call, it danced in the sunlight and eventually I’d be there and I’d notice it and maybe I’d reach for it and put it behind your ear and kiss you since I’m already so close to your face and you’d stop working and you’d kiss me back and the day – our day – would begin.
None of this was true, though, and I was brought back to the reality of your room – it was still a cold morning, I was thirsty, and I was alone. My various postcards may have dangled on the wall and letters like these may have been nailed to cardboard, but it wasn’t the same. Nothing was. Without you, the room was just four walls that meant nothing at all and I was just a drunk waking up with a hangover trying to remind himself that someone loved him somewhere.
Still, I did as I always did: I slept, I woke again, I showered, I brushed, I ate, and I was on my way again. But the rhythm of everyday was disrupted. There was no pulse, no life. Most of all, there was no you.
As I ate cereal, I thought about all the times you and I have just slept and woken up and then lived our days very similar to how I am now. I imagined the time we played Lava Queen or when we battled over my opinions on feminism or when I brought Lola. The house was haunted; entire lifetimes spent together were contained every where I looked. In the cereal, I could see the first time we made spaghetti and the last meal of chickpea stew as well. At the table, I saw all the breakfasts we had there, the meals we shared, and the talks we had. In instant, our entire relationship was spread and distilled to a point. It began. It grew. And it came to this moment of me sitting in a house that is not mine, wondering how you are doing, what you are doing, and if you are wondering the same about me.
Often I like to believe I know the answers to these questions, but I don’t. Like the house, I need you to make it a home and I need you to make memories of little nothings – of a chair, of a hairbrush, of a bed most of all.
I can’t wait until you come back and we can, we do, and we will make new ones. Until then, remember: love you madly,