Painful

I do my best to keep up a neutral expression as I receive what seems like an endless number of condolences, given by people who don't really care. I do my best to keep my calm, though I know I probably look much closer to tears than I would like, because you always were better at masking your emotions than I was. You seemed to have eternal patience, even when dealing with people I know you hated. Sometimes I wonder if that forced neutrality extends to me, but then I remember that you voluntarily bound yourself to me.

I have to bite my lip, hard, to stop myself from crying. There's only a few more hours of this forced politeness to everyone around, before I can go home and let loose as I would like right now. I take a calming breath, and accept another "sorry for your losses", as if that even begins to encompass how much losing you has ripped me from reality. As if mere pity can help at all in this situation. I smile tightly at the person as I say "thank you", my voice a bit too shaky to pass off as composed, and my eyes a bit too red.

I watch as they lower your coffin into the ground, and I delude myself into thinking for just a moment, that it isn't your coffin, but someone distant from me, someone that doesn't matter nearly so much as you. Then, the moment is gone, ripped from me as yet another "sympathizer" moves close and lays his hand on my shoulder, as if he has any right to touch me. As if anyone apart from you has a right to touch me. I almost tell him so, but manage to catch myself at the last second, merely giving him a frigid smile that probably didn't reach my eyes, and subtly shrug his hand off of me.

Hours – exhausting hours – later, I finally step back into our house, and go about my regular routine. I ignore the shoe rack, that you complained about having to buy due to the sheer number of my collection; I ignore your favourite coat, that was bought after a month of searching fruitlessly, in various shops across town; I ignore the closed door to the untouched study, where your papers still lay in the messy disarray in which you left them. I move determinedly towards our bedroom, no, my bedroom now, and I studiously ignore every reminder of you, though how that's possible, even I don't know. When I finally climb into bed, I feel relieved that the day's finally over, though the thought of a whole lifetime of days like these makes me wonder at why I would want to continue.

I lay on my side, unmoving and with my eyes closed, for what seems like hours. I'd always hated sleeping without you. I always felt bereft, without your strong presence beside me. Though the reminder that you'd be with me again sooner if I slept was always enough to lull me to sleep. Now I had no such reminder. You'd never be with me again, stolen from me by a hateful accident. Never to talk, laugh or simply be ever again. The tears that finally drop are silent, and they don't even begin to ease the bottomless well of pain that clenches my heart and twists my stomach into knots.