When I swam back to shore, I found a notebook - the cheap, black and white kind that cost thirty cents at the local supermarket - on a rock. It was yours, no doubt. I flipped open the notebook and read the first words, printed in careful, black ink across the top inside cover, where the space for a class schedule was available. "For Lily - my mermaid of the sky" I blinked back tears and looked at the first page. A drawing of a young woman, beautiful, with full lips, a slightly upturned nose, eyes half-closed, one of them slightly darker than the other, the hair light and long, the shoulders slim and delicate. The drawing was only down to her collarbone. I touched the drawing with a light touch and realized with a shock that the beautiful woman was me.
I stared at the drawing for hours, studying every detail you had included. Everything was so real, as though you had taken a photograph of me and transferred it to paper, somehow. I looked closer at the eyes, realizing you'd drawn something reflected in them. My heart skipped a beat, and the tears that I had managed to brush away burst out before I could stop them.
I flipped to the next page, finding it empty, and took out a pen from my purse and began to write. On and on, the night dragged as I wrote, and I told you everything. I told you how I loved you, how I missed you, how I wanted you, how I needed you, how I loved you, how I loved you, how I loved you. I told you how the sky was so empty without you, how all I could see was an endless ocean of blackness, with only the moon as a light. I wrote until I had used up almost half of the notebook, just as the sun began to rise over the horizon, reflecting on the lake's surface the most beautiful sunrise I'd ever seen in my life.
When I returned to the apartment, I found it completely empty. You'd left, without any note or explanation, although I knew I didn't need one, and I cried and cried until I had no tears left.
I rented the apartment for months, hoping that you might return one day, writing to you in the notebook, filling up page after page, hoping that my wishes weren't going unnoticed by the stars, though I hadn't seen any since the night you left.
One night, walking down the street toward the apartment, I smelled a familiar scent - cinnamon and sandalwood. I stopped, looking around. It began to rain, and all around me people began taking out their umbrellas, used to the sudden downpours of Eden. The umbrellas blocked my vision, and I strained to see through the crowd, my hand clutching to the black and white notebook you had given me so many months ago. And then I turned, and there was the familiar figure in the crowd..
The thud of a notebook against the cement – the cheap, black and white notebook that cost thirty cents at the local supermarket. The spine breaks, I think, and a few pages slip out (letters to you, no doubt) and my scrawled handwriting leaks down the page as the puddle of collected rain stains the papers…like the ink running down the page, a tear rolls down my cheek and, for a brief second, I am in your arms again, the smell of cinnamon and sandalwood all around me, your fingers running through my hair, your lips against my cheek, whispering all the things you promised you'd say to me.
For a moment, I am afraid, and I worry that you will turn away again, but then you look into my eyes, and I see the assurance, my own love reflected in your eyes, and I know that, like in the drawing, you are reflected in my eyes too...