www.whyville.net Apr 4, 2010 Weekly Issue

An Absence

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I don't know where you are. I don't even know who you are, not anymore. Maybe I'm simply writing this to the memory of you, and tomorrow you will read this and find it is addressed to an entirely different person than the one who lies on this page. Perhaps. But what else can I do?

I don't know where to start. There is so much that has not been said, so many scenarios and motions and what-ifs that have passed through my mind over the years I'd have enough for a novel if I'd written them all down.

I've missed you. I shall begin there, for out of all the confusion and emotions that have raged within me, that is the one that comes out victor. Oh god how I miss you. Your absence has gone through me and left an aching hollow in its wake, and every breath I take is a mockery of what I have lost. I cannot sleep, or eat, or sew or read without an emptiness in a part of my soul.

The shadows are darker. They grow.

When you left I got drunk and spilled paint into the square fountain. Part of me thought perhaps it might lift your burden, but . . . you weren't there. You would never know. I was foolish. I didn't know any better. Mr. McGuffery escorted me home, and I think he took the gold jumper dolls we had on the mantle. I never saw him take them, but I never saw the dolls again either. He died anyway, last year. He was getting old.

Hah. Time grows short, and here I am talking about Mr. McGuffery. I would laugh, but I'm not in practice. Let me narrow matters.

I never hated you, not for a moment. I'd told you a thousand times over nothing could break my love for you, and I wish you'd listened. I was hurt, and torn, and there were nights when I couldn't stand your absence but I couldn't stand the thought of you being there. I didn't eat, those nights. I'm not sure I slept, either.

I don't blame you! Why did you ever think I did? You're such a fool, but I love you. By all rights I should have died that morning. If I had, would you still be here? I know your shame, but I do not share it. No, all you have left me is your absence.

I have never despised anything more.

I forgive you. I began the letter meaning to say this, and it has taken me a good three pages to reach this point; but then, my handwriting has never been the best.

All that's done is forgiven.

I hope this can relieve your pain. There is nothing more I can do.

The time has come for me to sleep. Is it too much to pray that you be here when I wake?


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