The alarm is going off; it must be 6 already. I bury my face into my pillow and feel about for my phone with my hand. I get hold of it and swipe the alarm off. I groan as my brain stops fighting to go back to sleep, and with a smile across my lips I turn to face her saying “good morning honey…”
No sooner do the words escape my mouth that my mind catches up to them. I am frozen in bed for a moment, the smile is gone, and I am fully awake. The reality that my dreams carry me away from doesn’t seep back in slowly as many have described it; rather it slaps me hard across the face. One moment I’m waking up happy and turning to greet and possibly embrace the love of my life, the next I’m painfully aware that I am the sole occupant of my bed.
When this happens in the mornings it sobers me up and knocks my cheer down a notch or two. The rest of the times it happens don’t even cost me a second anymore, I just carry on as if nothing had happened, a skill I’ve learned mainly due to the frequency I suppose. After getting out of bed I put my water kettle on to make coffee, I always think to ask her if she wants coffee or tea this morning. Throughout the day I’ll think of things to tell her, things to show her. I’ll be out with my friends and think I should get going because she’ll be waiting for me. I’ll be in the supermarket and I’ll pick up a jar of pickles to get her; her favorite snack. She would eat those pickles straight out of the jar and I wouldn’t kiss her until she brushed her teeth because pickles are just gross! But in the supermarket I’ll pick a jar up, take a step away from the shelf, then realize what I’m doing and put the jar back down.
And when I come back home from work, the first few seconds when I walk through the door I always expect to see her. Every day I expect to see her. The apartment is so empty now. The whole world is so empty now. Everything in the world serves only to remind me of what I lost.
But as I said before, these thoughts don’t stop me. My day goes on, my life goes on day by day.
Time heals all wounds. There’s no “moving on” handbook or one-fits-all solution. We move on each in our own way and most of the time despite ourselves. Most of the time it just happens to us, perhaps due to a hundred small things we’ve tried to do each day, but it just happens; you wake up one morning and you just know that you’re starting to feel better.
I’ll get there. I know I will. But right now I’m still here. The pain is still fresh and the tears still roll down sometimes. Actually they’re rolling down right now because I’m on my laptop and clicked on something or other and now I’m staring at photos we took one day… silly photos… we were laughing so hard that day…
My thoughts and my tears are interrupted by an incoming call on my phone. I take a deep breath to calm myself and pick up.
-Hi mom. How are you?
-I’m good hayeti, enti keef?
*random tidbits of unimportant conversation. the house. cleaning. the neighbors.*
-I’ll talk to you soon mom.
-Shou beke ya to2breeni? Mesh 3ejebteeni elek fatra… sawtik medre kif. Akid you’re ok?
-Eh eh mama, don’t worry. I’m just tired. I love you.
*We hang up*
Mom, there’s no one I’d rather hide my face against and cry. There’s no one I’d rather have consoling me. And I know you can tell something is wrong and I know you’re worried. But I know you well enough to know I could never tell you. I love you too much and I don’t want you to suffer simply because I am suffering.
I have to hold my tongue and remain silent. And until I am better, whenever anyone asks, I’m just tired. It’s been a long day after all, I woke up early, 6 am…