In the end, it’s the small deals that you don’t expect to change your life that affect it the most. The one’s that come out of your mouth everyday like, “you mow the lawns and I’ll vacuum and mop the floors”. Or “you drive and I’ll navigate”. Simple agreements that make life easy, they don’t mean anything do they?
“Lucy wake up and get out of bed” she called. I wasn’t ready, I was never ready. I throw my arm over to his side of the bed and find it empty. Already gone to work I guess, I always sleep better when he has left for work but can’t fall asleep without him. “Lucy you have to get up”, god she sounds bad in the mornings I say to myself. I roll out of my soft king size bed and go see her.
“Are you going to work today Lucy?” She looked terrible her eyes were bloodshot, her pink pyjamas were hanging off her. “Not today, I don’t think I can today, what about you?”
“Well being that you’re my ride it really depends on you doesn’t it?” Her eyes were unblinking, come to think of it she never seems to blink. Just stares at me with those red, puffy eyes. She looks like she has been crying, I don’t ask though, we don’t talk about it.
“You should go to work today, you haven’t gone into the office in weeks”. “I don’t need to go in, I have everything I need here, perks of being a writer”. I tried to say it with a smile but I must have missed because she still looked so sad, still just staring at me.
“If you go to work today, I’ll cook tea tonight”. It was tempting I hadn’t had a good meal in weeks and she always used to be able to cook, I can’t go in today though. I say it again in my mind, if I say it out loud she will ask why. Then the reason becomes real and it can’t be.
“No that’s ok, thank-you anyway though.
I’m beginning to get tired, I always get tired after these conversations. We both hold back so much and the strain of not saying it drains me but saying it would drain me more and I don’t know if I could come back from that.
“Lucy please come back to me, you are hiding and it’s affecting us both, this isn’t living it’s barely surviving. Let me mow the lawns today, please?” It’s always the same she never understands how could she.
“He mows the lawns!” I’m shouting now she always pushes to hard.
“I mop and vacuum he mows! He drives I give directions! I don’t even know you anymore, you’re a stranger!” Tears are streaming down my face I look up and she is looking straight at me of course, crying from her battered eyes as well.
“The lawns aren’t mowed though are they? You can’t direct a car without a driver and he will never be there when you reach for him in the morning will he? You can’t sleep because he will never fall asleep next to you. Please for both of us, please come back to the world”.
God she looked bad, so very bad but I can’t help her, all that comes out is “I can’t”.
I take one last look at her then turn away from the mirror, walk over to the blind and hide the front lawn, it hasn’t been mown in a month.
I lie on our bed and look at his bedside table, I start reading the pamphlet there but can’t get past the first three words, I never can.
I pray for sleep as the words sear into my mind again,
“In loving memory”.