Clenching my eyes shut, I tried focusing on the sound of faded music playing in the background. My eyelashes held captive a wave of emotions that snuck past their guarded barriers and trickled down my cheeks and chin when I recognized the song.
It triggered memories that came bursting through the walls that I’d put up, as flashbacks of us gently swaying to the music reminded me of how her contagious laughter kissed my skin as she peered through her eyelashes. At that moment, it felt like a million stars were exploding around us as happiness poured out of me, flooding the room with exuberance and light.
Now, the very same memory makes me quiver in pain.
My eyes clenched shut, desperate to contain the tears.
My fingers dug into my palm, pleading to stroke hers once again.
My lips let out a soft whimper, aching for hers to be pressed against them one last time.
Most of all, my heart begged. Just begged to see her one last time. To be enough to have made her want to fight to stay.
A lump grew in my throat as I resisted my eyes, shifting toward her casket. I concentrate on breathing yet air does not seem to fill up the empty space inside my lungs – leaving it quenching in thirst. The air somewhat reminds me of her, but then again, so does everything else. I never realized her importance until I lost her. I never realized how she kept me alive until she wasn’t there anymore. And then?
Then I was suffocating.
Even in the desolate hospital, her trademark ocean scent comfortingly caressed my body. Despite the piercing coldness of her small, bandaged hands within mine, her hazel eyes radiated warmth. Our hands intertwined as if to hold the universe within them, even though at this exact moment, the rest of the universe seemed insignificant. Her grasp was as frail as mine firm, unwilling to ever let go. I still don’t know how to let go.
I press my palm against my lips to stifle another gasp as the tears stream down my face, reminiscing how ours collapsed together the last time I saw her. She’d been getting worse each day, the smile wrinkles surrounding her eyes dissolving into purple bruises under her eyes from lack of sleep…the bandages on her wrists were still slightly stained. The soft glow of her tanned skin had gradually dissolved into a pale morose tint.
I knew I should’ve said something to bid her farewell. I knew it was goodbye. I was selfish. I wanted to believe I was enough to fight for, to stay for. I was selfish for not saying goodbye and just allowing the silence to scream volumes my words couldn’t possibly ever fathom.
The dried tears crack against my cheek when I reach over to plant a soft kiss on her forehead.
Her long eyelashes brush against my cheekbone as I pull away and allow my tears to gently plant themselves onto her flawless cheekbones. I felt my knees buckle against the weight of realization – I’ll never get to hold her again. With envy in my heart, I pounded my fist against the ground. The casket would forever hold her away from me, and at that moment I wished I was the casket to be able to hold her body against mine, just one last time.