Not since you left have the waves come…
The day he left was the day I saw his room for the first time. It was cold and surgical-feeling. The walls were stark and his bed hadn’t been occupied for weeks. I looked and said, “I’d move in with me, too.”
I sat cross-legged and scratched doodles on a pad of Post-its while he paced from one pile of things to another, obsessively straightening and picking up and putting down and never really accomplishing much of anything. I finished my drawing, a stylized heart, and stuck it to the wall where his head would be, if he were actually using his bed.
Without looking up from straightening a stack of magazines he said simply, “Wasteful.”
I looked up at him. “But it’s not wasteful — I made something out of it.”
Our eyes met. His were fierce and dark and stern.
I backed down.
A sea of waves, we hug the same plank
I waited by the pond, poised and purposeful, breathing deep and drinking in the healing energy of the dozens of little peeping frogs splashing at my feet. A warm breeze ruffled the hem of my dress, and I saw his feet beside mine.
We locked eyes.
I suddenly felt naked and very, very small.
I tried to speak, and cut him with my anger and my sadness and my fear and sing how dare you, I can’t believe it you’re really here, and you don’t belong here and never did and look what you’ve done but all that came was
“…you’re really here…”
and it wasn’t sharp enough.
If like you
should sink down beneath
I’d dive way down… would you?
Is that what you want?
“You left a huge mess… and nobody wants to be the one to clean it up. And I can’t say I blame them.”
“I can try… I can try while I’m here. I’m sorry I wasn’t better to you.”
“…I loved you anyway.”
He pulled me to his chest and I buried myself in the sound of his heartbeat. I imagined that his touch would set me off shaking or the smell of him would coat my stomach in cold fear, but now I was wrapped up in him and I only felt like
“…you just went somewhere for awhile and came back, like you belong here.”
“I never belonged here. …Sorry.”
“I just wanted…”
And not since you left have the waves come
“…I just wanted you to be happy. And if I knew how, I’d do it. I’d go to the end of the earth and I’d kill myself doing it…you know this.”
His voice cracked. “I know.”
“You’re never alone. Remember this… when you go home.”
But when he ran the next morning
suitcase in hand
across the freshly-cut grass
and dove into the back of the waiting pickup
He didn’t look back once and I knew from the way his fixed his mane in the rear view mirror that he had already forgotten.
And not since you left have the waves come…