You're not here

The first day is always the most difficult. Waking up feeling the other side of the bed is empty. They are not here you remember bitterly. Replacing the indention they left on the pillow with one of your own, you inhale deeply, their scent intermingled with your own, blanketing you with the temporary comfort of old memories. You smile wistfully, slowly the smile turns into a snarl of bitterness when you realize with a start the bed is empty. Your routines are not longer routine, routine implies nothing is different, but something is different. You're not here. Stumbling from bed, wincing every inch a painful bitter reminder they are gone. Daily rituals feel empty, a tiny twinge of the chest at the empty coffee cup next to your own a thorn rammed in the side picking up a book that belongs to them. Tomorrow will be easier you whisper.

Tomorrow to a degree is easier. Your old routines become new rituals. Days pass turning to weeks, still no sign of you, you're still not here. Their scent has long dissipated from the pillow removing the strongest reminder of their presence. Their favorite shirt you wear every day like a shield from the outside world. It's as if they never existed. That's not how you want it to be, but life isn't fair. You want them here in your arms, here to ease the burning ache in your chest. Memories of the past flash before your eyes, old times of cuddling on the couch, laughing at their antics, another shot of pain, tears begin to fall for the first time since that goodbye so long ago. A zombie is a good description of the shell you have become since they are not here.

You go about your day, lost in thoughts of the one you love. A simple chat with an old friend, a warm hug from a family member any contact to fill the cavern carved in your chest from their absence. Things have become easier, the burning ache has dulled to a minor throbbing. Numbness, it's worse than the burning pain coursing through your veins. Time passes, as the days drag on, a month has passed and you're still not here.

The days become easier, items scattered around the house no longer cause pain when they catch your eye. It's as if you are back to the point before they changed your life, before they shattered your walls. You want so desperately to put those walls back up, to cling to your old safety net before they had such a control over your life. To a degree you do rebuild them though a small voice in the back of your head prevents you from putting your walls all the way up. The small voice in your head belongs to them, the secret whispers from a conversation long thought forgotten. The voice is there but it's not the same because you're not here.

Several months have passed and the pain is almost gone. Hints of their presence remind you the memories are real. Their scent has faded from their favorite old faded t-shirt you still wear like a safety blanket, the head print on the pillow next to yours is long gone, and their presence is no longer felt in your covers. Things are easier; the little things from them make it easier. You relax on the couch, the same one you cuddled together on for most of your relationship without clutching to the pillow as if it was them, you watch the movies you use to watch together without breaking down and you listen to "your song" without shedding a tear.

Finally you fall asleep on the couch after the third movie. Waking with a start you find yourself in your own bed, startled and confused you hear a sound coming from your kitchen. You grab the bat from beside your bed knowing no one is supposed to be in your apartment. Easing around the corner you hear rattling of pans, you smell breakfast cooking, easing your guard down in your confusion you peek around the corner to find the source. "Lizzy please don't hit me with your bat…again." The figure says without turning around.

It's the voice that has haunted your dreams for the last few months, the figure turns, it's the face that you have seen in everything. Loss for words you drop the bat, it hits the floor with a loud thud. You start to cry, tears of joy rush down your face as they place a few plates on the table continuing to walk in your direction. "Are you…" you manage to stutter out unable to finish your thought afraid it's all a sick dream. They grab your face, carefully wiping your tear stained cheeks. "Yeah, I'm really home Lizzy." They whisper, you glance at the calendar realizing they arrived a few days early to surprise you. Finally accepting it's real you lose yourself to the excitement. You tumble to the ground in a tangle of limbs as you kiss them, trying to convey every emotion in those few sweet seconds of reuniting. "I'm home Lizzy, I'm home for good." Staring into their eyes everything is right with the world all because you are finally here.