Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Promise

She’s at the front of my house – her and her family. I can
see them through the window – I’m hiding inside, terrified and separated from
my family, who are out front with them, being polite and sociable. This isn’t
an entirely peculiar phenomenon – we had been an item for at least one trip
around the sun, so our families knew each other with some familiarity.

I’m clutching at poorly xeroxed collection of papers – it’s
a subsection from a literary journal. It speaks to me, the one piece
I’m trying to find to give to her – it’s so like what happened to us. My hands
are shaking and I’m having trouble making out the words – each piece varies in print
quality, and each piece I sift through I think is the one I’m searching for,
disappointment striking every time I scan the sheets and find it’s not the one
I need.

They’re still talking out front. I want to rush out to her, embrace her, take her, just kiss her once more, but I’ve made a promise to myself to leave her alone and let myself fester quietly. It’s a promise I have to keep.

Shuffling more through the bundle for the story that is, in fact, our own, I finally locate it, at the back of the morass of the papers, and elation courses through me. If nothing else, I can leave her with this story – it can be my apology, my defence, my final quiet verbiage.

But as I look up, vain victory at hand, I see that she and her family are parting ways with mine – in fact, I can only see her family, not her. Despair and longing strike in quick succession – I’ve missed my chance to leave her with the words I cannot bring myself to utter. My eyes search the area, peering from behind my window, drowning for the sight of her.

She appears – and briefly, all is well, all is right, all is ending. I discard the useless sheaves of paper and clutch the bundle I want to give her in fervent anxiety. She’s coming to the door.

My promise gets left with the trickle of unwanted papers falling to the floor, slow as paste that’s had the cap left off, and I rush to the door, ready to embrace her – goodbye. But the door opens and I see no one but my genetic siblings and forbearers – no sight of her family, her dog, her car…her.

So I kept my promise.