Wait for me.
It’s been two years, and I’m still waiting. We were so young when we said goodbye, weren’t we? It was just this same October day, but it was raining. It isn’t today.
We were sharing my umbrella outside the terminal, so close I could feel your breath against my cheek when you looked down and smiled.
-I am going to miss you so bad.
I said it with a grin, it was a promise and a joke – all rolled into one fateful sentence.
-You’re so daft.
I laughed against your chest.
-I know, right?
I could feel your breath huff out of your chest, my arms wrapped loosely around you, your arms pressing my shoulders to you. It was harder than you let on, saying goodbye – wasn’t it?
-I’m not pulling away first.
You muttered it into my hair and I released my arms, pushing against your chest. Hold on, girl. What are you doing?!
-Go! Go and have an adventure.
I said it so glibly, and you grinned, and we were so young, so hopeless, so in love.
One last kiss, a brush of our lips – nothing of the heated night before. So young, so hopeless, so in love.
You picked up your bag and ducked out from under the umbrella.
-Love you crazy!
You called, walking backwards.
-I’ll be home before you know it!
Wait for me!!
I laughed, and my heart and eyes welled.
-You just come home to me. I love you!
Love you too!!
Two weeks later, and my world fell apart.
But “fell” sounds so gentle. “Fell” could be the way the autumn leaves drifted down around us, that time we went looking for fish to put in the pond. “Fell” could be the way we tumbled down after we played Dizzy, Dizzy Dinos in the park in July.
“Fell” does not describe the way that I took the news so calmly, on the phone with the police. “Fell” does not describe the way that I had no idea that I was shaking until, for some reason, the phone would not rest back in the cradle. “Fell” does not describe the way that I discovered that, actually, my legs weren’t enough.
I was on the floor.
Why was I on the floor?
Guess I fell.
Fell does not describe the way I moaned, digging my nails into the soft flesh of my palms. Oh God, oh God, oh God-
No, Fell does don’t describe the way that the moans escalated into screams. Why can’t I feel anything?! Fell does not describe the way that I keeled over onto my side, hugging my stomach, pulling my hair, tears mixing with snot and my eyes closed and someone is screaming. Why can’t I feel anything?!!
Fell does not describe the way I closed my eyes and floated. The poor policeman on the other end of the phone that my hand hadn’t been able to hang up, Miss? Miss?!
My heels rub.
-You’re so teeny-tiny!
Alex “Buddy” Collins.
Loving son, fiancé and friend.
Our love, our life, our light.
-Why are you crying? It’s just a film.
-Shut up, you’re missing the point!
Your mother can’t quite believe it. She’s so small, even smaller than me. Your Dad’s trying to be strong though, he’s got his arms around her, he’s trying to actually hold her together.
The vicar won’t shut up. He keeps talking and talking about how you’re happy and at rest now. I don’t believe him. Always was a cynic.
I’m so tired, Bud.
He brought light and joy to so many lives. When he passed, he was doing something he loved. He has been taken into His arms.
My sleeve’s fraying.
I’m watching the door. Waiting for you. You’re going to walk in, aren’t you? Aren’t you? That grin the made me so mad when we first met, and was so endearing after a while. Missed me? I didn’t know you cared!
Your mum can’t finish her poem.
I stand up to help her, we make it through. We make it through. Goddamit Alex – Why are you doing this to us?!
“Think of him still the same way, He is not dead, he is just away.”
You’re just away.
Come home. You promised me. You promised me!!
Six months go by, and I watch the door.
Six months go by, I try to put myself back together, piece of heart by piece of broken heart.
-How did we get it so wrong?! It’s Ikea! A goes into B – that’s it!
-Ours is better though.
-Absolutely. Ours is art deco.
-It’s a bookcase we can’t put books in.
-That's what I mean! Genius!
Six months go by, when you promised you’d only be one.
My birthday goes by, and I refuse to answer the phone.
-Wake up, sleepy head!
-It’s my birthday. I get to sleep-in.
-I made you breakfast.
-Breakfast in bed?
-Open your eyes, babe.
The date of our wedding goes by, and I break, all over again.
Two years later, and I’m still waiting. Still watching the door. I should have held on for an extra second, or not turned away so quickly, or kissed you properly. I should have never let you go.
You always were the luckiest man alive – I don’t know how you did it. You’d bet on something and it would happen, you’d be in exactly the right place at the right time – and you’d do it all with that beautiful smile.
-Just give up!
-No way! I’ve still got my underwear and my engagement ring – I can win in two hands!
-That ring is not coming off your finger. Face it, angel, you lost.
-You just cheated!
-It’s strip poker – it’s luck!!
Your luck just ran out, didn’t it love? Oh God.
You promised you’d never leave me.