tie this to your wrist, and remember me always

by spin

I open the door and a waft of senses overwhelms me. You’ve lit candles like you always do, but more so because it’s gotten darker in the late fall. The house smells familiar – fresh, and like meals have been prepared – but it is quiet. I move in through the living room, drinking in the moments of our family’s life. Pictures hang on the walls; family portraits, but not the same, stoic, mall-studio type you’d expect. Ours are different, unintentional. They are the kind of pictures most people would throw out, but you love them all the same. Sneaking through to the hallway my footsteps creak on every loose floorboard. I’ve said I’d fix them a thousand times, and you just smile knowing that we’ll grow old to the squeaks.

That smile. Oh, that smile! It’s all I’ve been able to think about for months. I’ve been away for years in my head, and longer if I counted. But your image is as clear as the day we met. This trip was difficult, longer than it should have been, but we had our letters to keep us company – “It’s a special thing, to have your words right there on paper, and your voice in my head.”

The sun is low in the sky, painting the rooms orange through the large, old windows in the dining room. The sagging glass stretches the light into every corner, warming the house to match the home you’ve built inside. I can hear you humming in our room, and imagine you dancing in circles to mundane chores, wholly at peace in your mind. I could spend my life listening to you, if I weren’t so anxious to see you again.

Peering in from the corner of the doorway, I see you – back towards the door, painting near a window. My noise hasn’t stirred you, so I move closer, ’round the bed. I can smell your hair; sweet, like the flowers I wish I could understand. Your humming is louder, confident. The same melody fills the room as it always has, making even the smallest speck of dust dance in the light of the setting sun. Closer in now, I can hear the breaths between notes as I raise my hands to your shoulders. You turn—

And I was dreaming again; back to the reality where I spend my days in love over a telephone line; unrequited; falling asleep with a computer, because it’s almost like you’re here. But then I read it:

“I miss you.”

I hear the words in my head. And it’s a special thing.