In the summer, we woke with the sun. Our time together had given way to systematic behavior and routine. We loved each other well – deeply and unconditionally. Runs in the neighborhood and my undivided attentions were things you loved best about your life. I planned my days and nights around you and your needs, never desiring any other way of life.
You were there to love me through relocations and the loneliness that came with that. Foreign people and places were dealt with together. Our close friends used to tell me that you were a direct manifestation of who I am at the core – strong and stubborn, proud and private, loving and cynical all at the same time. We were complicated and multidimensional and liked to dare people to understand and love us in spite of these things.
You were there to love me through broken hearts and relationships, of which there were many. I cried on you in the privacy of our room as you looked on with sad eyes, not understanding but accepting of where I was at. You gave me purpose in these times each morning we woke, even on the days I wished I had slept forever and never seen our sun again. Your happy face and eagerness to attack the day was contagious and impossible to ignore. I wanted you to be happy.
We hated the rain. California girls at heart, we battled the Portland elements together with countdowns to a different season. You never wanted to run in anything but the sun and I made you anyway – I told you we couldn’t stop doing the things we loved just because it was hard. I wouldn’t allow it.
It has been a year since you died. A hard, unbearable year of pain I have not believed could ever be different. When you left, you took a piece of my fragmented heart with you. People who knew you told me in love that I would never be the same, and I now know this to be true. I want to believe that our sun will come out again, but it has yet to show itself. And what of my broken heart and the shell of a person I look at in the mirror? I have lost myself in pain and fear and no longer remember who I used to be – no longer remember who I wanted to be. I only know that I want to be in a different place but come up short when I try. I want to wake again with our sun and smile, but no longer have you to hide behind. I am exposed and vulnerable; completely without control.
I carry your memory with me daily and hear you telling me I can’t stop doing the things I love just because it’s hard. You won’t allow it. And I laugh in your face and say “watch me” through my tears.