On our last day together she brought me a bouquet of tulips and carnations, and a Joe Hisaishi CD — a childhood memory of mine she ordered from Japan. I had mentioned it in passing on one of our walks as the only album I’ve been unable to find for download or purchase, and there it was, in my hands.
We watched Before Sunrise, and afterward, we laid next to each other on the couch, silent, unsure of what to say, because there was no comfort to be had. Soon, I was kissing the tears from her face, over and over again.
She asked what she was going to do without me. How long it was going to be before we saw each other again. Whether a simple phone call was allowed. I could say nothing, because I understood the necessity of it all.
So she said she was being reduced to an observer, and I grew cold and distant. It was the first time I had considered my own feelings, when I had felt reduced to much more than that, and she wasn’t making it any easier. With her lips on my neck and her hand through my hair, she comforted me in turn, and our passion took hold of us one last time.
Before she left, I hugged her, felt her tears grow cold on my shoulder, and kissed her once more on the cheek. Thank you, she said.
My heart has been filled with a calm sadness ever since. A struggle between the pain of being away from her, and knowing that it’s for the best. That we would be stronger, and more stable when it was all over.
In the days since, I’ve remembered the things I wanted to say to her before she left my back porch, running to car without looking back before the emotion could overwhelm her. Things that didn’t come to my head because I was too focused on keeping myself together.
Don’t stop creating. Take care of yourself. I love you.