He loved the little things, and yet rarely noticed them. A hole in a sock was only there for others to perceive; to him the sock was unchanged. You once told me that you never had to worry that his white shirt may have accidentally been put in the red wash, and was now pink, because he wouldn’t notice if it suddenly went missing. Yet he noticed when you coloured your hair, even if it didn’t come out properly. He noticed the sparkle in your eyes and the dimple in your left cheek when you laughed. He always said he loved that dimple; it just appeared out of nowhere, lonely but happy. He loved coffee before bed, and old typewriters. He didn’t drink or smoke, and laughed a lot. And you, you loved his funny wide feet and sandy coloured hair, that always looked too long, even after he’d had it cut. He knew you, you knew him. In a sea of people you seemed to be soul mates.

And later, with his eyes closed and his body unmoving for years, in the hospital, he knew when you weren’t there. Some people swear it’s just like sleeping, only there’s nothing going on inside their heads, but you knew, you knew he heard you, could feel your presence in the room. Were you aware that when you left, his hand searched for yours? Did you care that once you left he gave up? Everyone had thought it a miracle when they switched the life support off, that his heart insisted on beating, his lungs continued to breathe. For 16 months he held on, the true fighter that he always was. You couldn’t handle it. A life without hope. You’d hoped for freedom, but he kept fighting, so you were stuck there and couldn’t help him. You tried I know, but gave up too soon. He searched for you for days after you left, I swear once I even heard him murmur your name, but he knew that you were truly gone, you’d deserted your post, and he didn’t want to fight anymore. How long would it have taken for him to make it through? How many walls remained to be felled? If you had waited, would he have woken? And would you have wanted him then?

By Audryn

I search for truth and understanding...