I dreamt of you again.
It hurt real bad when I woke up and knew it was a dream. I wanted to stay in it a little while longer.
I cursed and rolled out of my bed. I had work to do, and was sure that the early morning grogginess would vanish in the next fifteen minutes when I was done taking a quick shower and brushing my teeth. It would at least vanish when I drank the coffee.
But like a burning up paper the flame only got worse. Like a stained white sheet the dream bled on everything and made things worse. I forgot a lot of the other details, but the sight of you with that sunflower tucked in your hair, smiling so happily from beyond the field of green grass on a cool windy day - It kept on looping in my head. You looked so happy and beautiful,
Who puts sunflowers in their hair anyways? Wasn't it supposed to be roses or something? It seems absurd. And I'm not nearly old enough to be reminiscing like this.
Going to work I thought the coldness of commuting humans would mute the sight of you, but it only made it worse. The abject loneliness I feel just made me hold onto that dream some more. I huddled against its heat, even though it's stupidly painful to do so.
You died. You died and are never coming back. And everyone has a sob story and grand things to say about death, but it's actually a more common experience than you'd think. I haven't thought about you in years, really, and while I'll always say the three crazy years together were the best, I stopped putting you up on a pedestal and pining after a love that could match that one. You weren't perfect. You were only human, not an angel.
But damn, you were close.
I ended up going through work in a blur. Real life failed to slap me in the face. The drone of the office did nothing to erase the dream. The small talk did nothing. The stress did nothing. If anything it only made the picture clearer.
Why in the world did I dream of you like that? You loved hoodies like they were your own skin, so this picture of you in a flowing dress with a flower in your hair doesn’t match up. You did go on a holiday once in those Scottish highlands with nothing but fields and lakes and rivers, but in that picture you had an oversized coat and were pouting about me not being there.
This is stupid. This is stupid but I'm off work right now and getting two trains to where you are. To that little small town that's locked in time and never seems to move with the rest of the world. I know a few people here, and we're not on bad terms or anything, but I won't visit them. Your family would probably be distant, at best. I know your mother would've been warmer, but she's gone too, right?
You're buried right next to her.
I never understood why graveyards looked so solemn. Everyone can recognize them from anywhere, whether the graves are marked with crossed sticks or with granite slabs inscribed with Latin epitaphs. I don't believe in much, so it's even stranger to have such strong feelings evoked in me. I shuffle through the place slowly, reading off names and dates until I find your plot.
Beloved daughter and sister - "I'll just be out for a while"
She loved saying that when talking about dying. And everyone believed it at face value. It didn't sound grim or naive when she said it.
I put a punch of dried out sunflowers at her grave. They still have their yellow, but they're really, really out of season. Brittle.
And I stand up and look at the granite. Time flies indeed. That's a saying that'll never stop being true, I think, but I have to tell it to myself because I forget.
I think that maybe I'm ready to let go now. The dream is finally fading away. Whatever whim this was, it's passing.
I'm going to feel real bad, but I'm okay.
I try to walk away. I really do, but my feet seem to be rooted to the spot.
I look at them with a frown,
"What?" I chuckle, "Don't want to go huh?"
I shuffle my right foot, but it feels like lead.
I shuffle the other and it’s better, but both legs are heavy.
I'm a man, dammit. What am I even doing visiting the grave of some girl that I used to know? Some girl who turned my life around? Just some girl I really fell for.
I don't make it that far before I'm bawling. Nose running and all. I don't care if anyone hears me. No one does.
A song comes to mind all of the sudden. One of our favourites. You know the one. It starts with a wistful sound like a ship horn before the drums and pianos come along. Electronic. You used to beat box the drums when they came along and I mimed playing the piano and hitting the snares. We made such stupid faces to it.
I miss you.
Oh God, I miss you.
I've got to go now. I have no idea what brought this on, but I'm glad I came along you know?
I'm glad I got to know you.