Her going had always been inevitable. Between the peace of my afternoons and my many vigils at dawn, her refrain has always been one of delay. She was never alien, and about her was an air that enticed my sense of foreboding, my erratic glimpses of what was yet to be, and though I should have been gripped with a fear that crippled the bravest, those chains never bound me. Strange though it was, it was more human than divine, closer to my heart than what familiarity, or perhaps sense, dictated. Her existence, and the denoument it brought, was already known to me before I even learned of it, not unlike the last few dog-eared pages left for days to allow the entire tale, and one's understanding of it, to ferment, and read only at the most opportune moment, to find one's illumined conclusions correct, no less than expected.
She was there when I first remarked how bitter a cigarette's smoke was, and she was there when I promised myself I would not repeat that mistake. She was there when that oath, like others before it, was broken. As I pondered on mimicry and survival, she was there, swathed in the blue-gray smoke, her fingers tracing lazy spirals in the haze as she stared at me while I abhorred the antics of those with me. She was always with me: she danced when I thought, and laughed when I pondered, and approved when I planned. My defeat was hers. When I was violated, she was raped. When I reeled from the blows, she was broken. When I died inside, she was the hint of a memory.
"I suffer from your sloth," she told me hours earlier.
"Surely, it is your imagination?" I countered, denying her of the truth.
"We both know it isn't. Look in the mirror," she said as she proceeded to stand beside me.
Our reflections stared back at us. She was gaunt.
"You see? While your lethargy plumped you up, your resignation has sapped me of health!" she exclaimed while she looked at me. The same fire in her eyes was shone in her reflected self, which prompted me to look at mine. They were empty coal-black tunnels, with neither warmth nor...
"What happened to your resolve?" The frustration in her voice was all too apparent.
I just looked at her, smiled and said, "you know what happened."
Her soft, thin hands balled into fists at her side. "You're impossible." Her wan tone matched the smile that never reached my eyes.
The embrace that locked us together was not planned. I can only hope that my many wordless thanks were felt. "I'll grow stronger," my words where whispered breaths that reached her ears.
"You will," she answered as her form ghosted away, the saline pearls upon my left shoulder were the only memory of her presence.
I found myself inert upon my bed, the ceiling and its oxidized paint meeting my gaze. My thoughts meandered nowhere-bound, weathering the time like they always had. I drifted into the landscape of my dreams, realizing this only when I woke up in the mute afternoon light of yesterday's morrow.
The dog-eared pages would be flipped and new chapters will be met, but not now. I deserve a moment of my humanity.
Wake Me Up When September Ends