In the Silence of Her Eyes
I watched her die in the rain. A soft, cold rain that seeped slowly into the bone. I’ll never be warm again. And I’ll never love the rain . . . .
Something intangible had fled from me; a spirit bearing the last vestiges of hope and joy. Perhaps fled was not the right word. There was no dead of night reckoning. No midnight weeping at the abrupt realization. It had been more like a small puncture that had bled out over the course of a long journey. Towards the end, I could feel it all coming to a one-sided stop in the middle of a vast shelterless desert.
We stopped talking. We stopped feeling. Hands in time, hands through the darkness, ceased to meet. We drifted, inarticulate, suddenly strangers with familiar faces, through the days like icy smoke. The rooms of our house echoed our presence, then faded into silence. The substance between us had thinned to a transparent thread, and we wondered when it would finally break. And who would be the cause.
The ticking clock above the mantle measured the passage of our trackless existence. Each tick, each tock, moving us into a future leached of color; opening a door to a winter-killed garden populated by memories flash frozen into empty reliquaries.
I remember watching her face as she slept, soft breaths in the waning night, my eyes lingering, my mind holding fast to every curve, every line, my heart trembling in the effort to bring the past to life; to join what I had lost with what I once had. I watched until dawn and wept softly in the ashes of a fire long dead.
Towards the end she begged me to stay, her fingers like frightened doves on her face, reaching out through the pale-light spaces to my arm. Foolishly I told her that it would not be for long. A time to ponder. A time to regain a pathway back to my own forgotten heart.
“I don’t want to lose you,” she said, the words stuttered and clenched between sobs. And for one second, for one brief halting of the world, I felt a meeting of souls, of old lovers, of eternal friends; a fleeting glimpse of our younger selves in an ancient cracked mirror.
But it was all too late. I was on a journey without road maps. I knew not what I was doing, only that I had to do it.
On the bridge, I watched her die with each passing second. She stood still, her eyes fading into a darkness, a silence that would allow her heart to live on, though the world had come to an end. I closed my eyes.
A statue in a winter-killed garden. Fashioned by an artist both cruel and loving, with hands stained by blood and tears.
As I turned to leave . . . one last look.
And in the silence of her eyes, all that I had loved, all that had I remembered, trembled gently and died in the soft, cold rain.