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mourning light | scene, somewhere

he stared at the window, at the clear, cold shafts of light illuminating a haze of dust motes. many times he’d caught her looking at it with an air of quiet delight. finally he’d asked what she was doing, and she replied, “watching the light.”

as though he couldn’t tell. her big eyes stood out dark in her pale, pointed face, and he had the eerie feeling she could see through him as though he also were a sun ray.

mornings, she explained in a dreamy, absent way, were sacred to stillness, simplicity, the simple joy of being. life played out in those first early hours was peaceful. looking out the window at the sunrise, she said, showed there was more to life than the 9-to-5 grind. she’d obviously never lived his mornings.

he didn’t understand her. and he didn’t want to.

for him, mornings meant the guilt and confusion of wondering what had happened the night before. they meant the discovery of unexplained bruises, unwanted telephone numbers, unintended entanglements, undesired obligations. mornings often brought a leaden headache, and sometimes the groggy fear he might’ve been a father. not a pleasant idea to face, even after the two tylenol and cups of coffee. if mornings were sacred for her, for him they were squalid. her presence in his first moments after waking only seemed to deepen the misery.


he had tried the cold shoulder, the angry threats, the name-calling, the shameless accusations of drunken loquacity, but she wouldn’t go.


except for last night. in the back of his mind he had a vague sensation he’d finally crossed a line somewhere, that they’d argued, that she had gone.

for good?

as the sun rose and strengthened in the sky, he found himself wondering what life would look like without her. three years, somehow, had stretched to three lifetimes; he wasn’t sure what he’d done before she did everything.

what if she never came back?
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