Days following the departure, her behavior turned distant and barren. Each day she became more transparent until I feared she may fade away all together. Tired of watching her walk around this house like a shadow of her former self, I decided to follow her one afternoon. Today I would find her. Today, after 30 days of emptiness, I would know where she disposed those parts of her I missed. This particular day rose up bright blue and full of light. The sun a perfect circle in the heavens, like an orange eye cut into the pure lapis lazuli fabric of a celestial cloak. Sunlight and warmth opened up like a colorful wedding feast to be consumed and celebrated as the last hours of summer made its decent. The day was perfect and everything fit, all except for her.
As I made my way down through the clearance, I found her floating in the ocean, eyes looking towards the sky. Her hair fanned out about her like spilled ink as she allowed her body to lie lifeless. The long, white dress she wore seemed alive now in the water, clinging to her body and moving away from her at the same time with each ebb and flow. All around a deep azure embrace held her still. A single breath in and she closed her eyes. Revealed against her cocoa skin was a pair of pale, pink-violet eye lids. The color of them so unusual coupled with her dark native features. But then again maybe it is only fitting since she has never looked at me the same as others. Her eyes see right through me.
I am as transparent as she has now become.
I am unable to let her go.
I am unable to save her.
And she is my whole world entire.
She sweeps her hand across the surface of the water and then stretches her arms above. Her movements push the clouds into different shapes across the sky. The day breathes with her constant and unwavering heartbeat. The sun, anticipating the slightest parting of her lips as thirsts weighs its demand, seems to melt in place. Waves rise and subside. Hues of sapphire and indigo murmurs changing the current of the water with each request she makes for absolution. How could she not know she creates her own weather?
Accepting she will have no more answers today than the day before, she emerges from the water and I am relieved. Watching her is painful. It is like seeing the home you grew up in as a child burn down or witnessing the passing of innocence. Out from the sea, the ocean still hangs around her neck and on her long dress like an exaggerated kiss. As she steps onto the sand, the weight of her sorrow sinks into earth below her. She falls to her knees. I see her shoulders heavy and heaving with each sob. Tears like the shape of my own eyes fall from hers and the wind reaches up to lick them into oblivion. In that moment, I come to taste my own fault.
For all these days she has held on to her grief as if it were burned and scarred into her hands. Her sadness unable to pour out like the ashes she scattered at sea. I kept her from feeling responsible for his death. I sheltered her from any memory of the brother she had to bury. Everything of him erased as if he never existed at all. My wanting to be her only source of happiness became the unbearable task of holding in all her pain without reprieve. My love became her loathing. Against all that I have swallowed and sacrificed for her, against all that I believed I deserve, I let go.
Without me, she is finally able to grieve