Maera lay awake in bed looking at the glow-in-the-dark stickers she had put on the ceiling a few months ago. He had given them to her as a present. She shut her eyes tight, trying not to cry but two pearl drops of tears trickled down her cheeks and fell on the pillow.
Must everything that meets the eye, remind her of him? Nights are cruel and unforgiving. They somehow seem to collect every memory buried within you and relay them right in front of your eyes. Like scenes from a film that you don’t want to remember but can’t afford to forget. He was in all of them. Smiling. Holding her by the hand. Feeding her popcorn during that movie that they thought was hilarious while everyone else was dabbing their eyes with this and that. She laughed, her eyes still moist.
Why did it have to end like this? She didn’t understand it. Everything seemed to be perfect. They were so happy together. Sure, they had their tiffs and struggles, typical to any other relationship but at the end of the day, they just HAD to say I love you before they slept. Was that why sleep had evaded her for so many days? Because her little ritual was not performed?
The curtains at her window puffed up and then settled back. The wind rustled the tree leaves outside. They seemed to be laughing derisively at her helplessness.
Tomorrow, she would wake up. Drink her coffee. Eat her usual breakfast of a chilly cheese toast and rush out to catch the early morning bus. After work, she would come home. New thoughts would haunt her about the same things. Everything in the universe would conspire to remind her of her ill fate and a loss she could never fully recuperate from.
Even though she was fifty, she always felt young when he was with her. Now, she was just a poor old neighbour that became everyone’s subject of discussion at tea time.
She pulled up her blanket and covered her face. She prayed for sleep.