Last night, I felt utterly and completely alone. See, nighttime is the loneliest for me. It’s when the world quiets, my memories grow louder in my head, and I ache for him. Silence is not only deafening, it strums out a song of longing in my being. Yesterday night, I sat in disbelief, still, after all these months, and thought about my life laid out before me now, without him. With no one around me to blanket over this wounded feeling of solitary, I cried. I want him back.
Last night, as I have done so many nights, I sat in my chair and looked toward the door leading out to the garage, the one he always used. I imagined him, once again, his long and lanky body entering with his head ducked down to avoid the top of the door frame. I thought about the crooked grin he beamed if it had been a good day. If it was a bad one, his eyebrows furrowed and thin lips drew down in anger. Yet he always came home, to me. I wish I could see him come home again.
Last night, I smiled on how he emptied out his pockets, placing his wallet, keys and any loose change into the first drawer of our secretary. I laughed a little through my tears remembering how he never understood how I could misplace any of those things. He was the organizer, the one who had a place for everything, and thought everything had its place. When I frantically ran around the house looking for my keys or my purse, he would joke “it’s in the last place you put it”. He even got me a tile designed to help me find keys or a purse. I lost that tile which annoyed him as much as his “joke” annoyed me. I long for our annoyance again.
Last night, my fingertips touched over my lips. I thought how, after he made sure his stuff was in their proper place and he took off his shoe, he would find me or I would walk up to him, and we would kiss. We would kiss every time he came home. Most times, it was a soft, gentle kiss, and other times passion would burst through. I desire those kisses again. I desire his kiss again.
Last night, I drifted back to our dinners. I have never been the best cook, but he wasn’t a picky eater. He would tell me food was only a means to satisfied his hunger, to fuel him. So, he ate my simple menus of meat or fish, starch and vegetable, sometimes a cookie or two for dessert. On weekends, he did the cooking. He liked the exotic meals he created and the science behind them. While we shared a meal, always at the table, we recapped our days or talk about our kids. If he didn’t want to talk, which happened sometimes because of his quiet nature, we would sit in comfortable silence, or I would talk and he listened. The frozen dinners I now pop in the microwave, with the TV blaring and my dog begging at my feet, makes my stomach clench in desperate need for the once-was. I crave just one more dinner with him.
Last night, I recalled our nighttime routine. In the summer, it started later as he stayed outside until it grew dark, doing anything and everything to take advantage of the long days. In the winter, he plopped down sooner on the sofa, shaking off the day’s cold. He would put on his glasses and read the paper while I cleaned up after dinner. Then, we would settle in front of the television and debate what to watch. We shared interest in some shows and compromised on others. My reality TV shows would wait until the next day before he came home, and his knife-making or hot-rod maintenance shows waited until the weekends. Sometimes, we would snuggle up and hold hands. Sometimes, we distanced ourselves to our favorite seats. Always, we were together. Eventually, I went upstairs to bed, usually an hour or so before him. He required little sleep. I required more. I yearn a routine, our routine.
Last night, I cried while loneliness held me. In the beginning, I missed Peter and everything about him. It hurt me to my soul the thought of never seeing him ever again. It was unbearable to move. It was unfathomable to continue on alone. And yet, I did. I moved while I continued. I am still moving, even putting in little dance steps now. There are times though where I remember the little things. The little things that were overshadowed by the enormity of his death. The little things I get angry at because I don’t have them anymore. The little things I get jealous that others have still. The little things which make me feel like a person I never was before. The little things which make me question and fear the person who will emerge from all of this. The little things like that happened from the time he came home to me. And as I heal, those little things pop up and stab me with the knowing they will never happen again and my soul bleeds. It normally happens at night, when the world has quieted and my memories shout in my head…like last night.