I sit in my living room, letting the sounds of spring wash over me. Despite the sunny sky, the sound of rain fills my ears, first gently then pounding. The small droplets run in rivulets down the glass windows on one side of my house. I wish he were here.
If my lover were here, I would sit in his lap. I would whisper into his ear about what I hear; the sounds that he usually cannot detect. He would hold me in his strong arms as we sat quietly. No need to rush. No need to to busy ourselves with anything other than watching the Earth wake up from its dark Alaskan slumber.
He was taken from me; just as surely as our daughter was taken so many years ago now. I turn a thankful face to the sky that the world can no longer harm her the way it harms him each day. They stole his life in her name; with deceit and trickery. I am powerless to save either of them.
I am never alone, and always lonely. My heart aches beneath my smile, and my spirit trembles behind the strength I show the world. We are persecuted, slandered, and tormented. My daughter’s life is twisted into a vile mockery of her true former beauty. I remind myself daily that it does not matter what the world believes. Our God knows our story. My lover knows my heart and I know his.
But he is not here with me. There are whispers of him everywhere I look. He built the planter boxes on my porch; eagerly awaiting the young plants they will house beneath the sun and rain. He sat and read in this chair beside me, and laughed at my continual antics. He made this house my home.
Some cannot bear the pain of being here. The whispers bring them too much pain. I cannot bear to lose them or leave them. They are all I have left. Unlike our daughter, I am blessed with more than just boxes of old photographs or plaster molds of hands and feet. I live for the brief time each night in which I am allowed to see him.
In those moments, he is still not allowed to be my lover. He must lock away all but the most basic aspects of himself. He can embrace me briefly as he comes and goes. He cannot hold me. He cannot tickle me. He cannot carry me when I am weak. I can see the pain in his eyes when he sees me limping, and the fear when he sees my exhaustion.
My lover is my strength. For many years now, he has carried me when I could not walk. He shouldered burdens I could not carry. He reminded me to take my medications, and leaned me against him when I no longer had the strength to stand. He is still my strength. My love for him fuels my every action, and safeguards my every word.
As the sounds of the rain slowly tapers off, so do the tears upon my cheeks. My lover would not want me to wallow in my grief. I hear his voice whisper to me as it has for so many years, “Take your medicine. Eat something. What are you going to do today?”
Today, I take on the world again. I fight until the day he comes home to me.
(c) 2015 Christiane Allison