I’m sitting in the dark.
I’m sitting in a wonderful place – a place I love. No, it isn’t home, but it has that hearth-warm, glowing feel. When I am here, memories pour over me like surf on the sand nearby and make my heart smile.
And the sun is rising outside, pasting orange and gold on a singular blue backdrop. The pastel sky is cloudless thus far. I can hear the static pounding of waves just over the hum of the ceiling fan revolving haphazardly out of balance. I type. I’m on my second pot of coffee. I write stories in the growing light because I don’t sleep anymore.
I wait to hear the doorknob turn.
Finally, the doorknob turns, the door creaks opens and I hear the slap of little, bare feet on the hard tile beating a cadence. The marching gets louder and louder until a sleepy-eyed beauty is beside my chair waiting patiently for me to move my laptop. When I do, she piles in with me, her soft hair nuzzled against the pocket of my neck. Even though she is getting big, she fits. She always fits. She fills the void perfectly.
She doesn’t talk. She just soaks up my presence, my hereness… our hereness.
I kiss her head while we snuggle. And the murky world outside with its pain and chaos fades away because I have this thing… this perfect thing – right here. Right here.
Only the doorknob doesn’t turn.
No matter how much I will it to turn and no matter how many times my brain hears the phantom click that marks its beginning, it never turns. Never.
I am alone.
And I sit typing, because I don’t sleep.
And the pain and chaos is inside – inside this room and inside of my weary mind because the doorknob never turns.
What I wouldn’t give to hear it click just one more time. Just one more time.
Just one more hug.
Just one more kiss.
Just one more smile.
Just one more I Love You.
I would mortgage everything for just one more. Only I can’t. I won’t hear the pounding of those little feet ever again, so I pound on this keyboard while a soft rain begins to fall outside my window.
And waves of memories hit me, engulf me, and then recede back with the tide. I reach for each one and beg them not to go. But no matter how tightly I hold my hands they slip through the cracks of my fingers. I build a castle with sand and make them my moat. We built sand castles together… here… back when it was good.
I remember how good. I remember she was here. Kylie was here – in this place.
And I love this place – even when it rains outside and even when it pours inside me. Because she is here. If I close my eyes and remember hard enough, I still can feel her hereness. Since I can’t have just one more, this will have to be enough.
And I will never stop listening for the turn of a doorknob.
Doorknob Photo Credit: Josh Vaughn via Flickr under the Creative Common License