It is 1am, and the hospital is dreary. The woman next to me is listening to the heartbeat of her baby. Her neighbour prays for his fever to drop. I am waiting, hand over mouth, for the nausea to pass.
It is 1am, and I have exhausted all my favourite daydreams. My friends are asleep, there is no-one to turn to. My thoughts drift to you (but that’s nothing new).
Spring time. You drop me off at uni and pass me a pen. It’s early morning and your hair is ruffled. It makes me want to crawl back into bed, hide under the covers with you, but I’m already late so I kiss you goodbye and close your door. In the distance, as I enter the building, I hear your tyres burn. I can’t help but smile.
Night time, sitting on your kitchen counter, scrolling through instagram. You’re making dinner. I want to reach out and touch you, rest my hand on the nape of your neck, but the water is boiling, and you are focused. I’ve had a few drinks; did you despise me for that?
The magpies are calling. You’re sitting on the freshly cut lawn with seeds in your hand. You’re waiting for them to come to you. I’m on the hammock, half reading my book, half watching you. You’re so graceful with animals, you’re so beautiful in the sun. It’s what I loved about you.
A honeybee clings to life. You make it a sugar water syrup and watch it regain its health. You tell me how much bees mean to you. I want to wrap you up and never let you go. I’m still struggling to let you go. Can you forgive me for that?
The beach is in the distance. I’ve just woken up; the sun is bright through the curtains. You’re in the kitchen, making banana pancakes. I can hear the radio playing – it is soft, so as not to wake me up. When I join you, when I kiss you, you taste like maple syrup.
It is 2am, and the nurse puts her hand on my shoulder. She asks me, where is your partner? I tell her, I am alone, and then later, for the first time in months, I call you.
Art by Phillipa Bell.