A series of fictional letters, by fictional people in fictional worlds of my own design.
If someone had asked me three months ago to give them one word that summed up what you were to me, I'd have said indespensible.
For the two months we spent waiting for your inevitable departure I woke up every day with a cancer in my throat; it ate at my words, gnawed at my honesty, tweaked and altered my tone. I tried to take back my devotion to you - I tried to pull it back an inch at a time, tried to bury it beneath self-assurances and that miniscule hope that I could never voice that they would change their minds and that none of it was real. You always knew, of course; my thoughts always opened to you, plain as the pages of a book, written in the subtle intricacies of my irises. I could feel you reading me - ghostly fingertips sliding along my soul, deciphering me like braille. I never held a person so tightly as I held you in those too-short weeks.
In the South they cut off the tip of your tongue if you speak against your Kalaal. If the offense is repeated, they cut off the tip of your small finger and send it to your soldier.
In the far North, women in waiting are branded so the soldiers know they will not stray from their commitments; it is an honor to be branded, a blessing known as the lovers mark. The soldier chooses the location, size, and design of the brand but the most common is a small lovers knot on the bottom lip, because it is so easily recognized. The wound takes a month to heal and the woman in waiting must suffer in silence.
Here, the women are not even addressed. I could scream against the Rindu, I could project my displeasure out over the valley at top volume for days on end and no one would be sent to calm me, to punish me, to acknowledge me at all.
Every day I rise and go through the motions of activity. I make our bed, I buy the groceries, I pay our rent. I still sit at the table to eat my morning meal even though it gets colder there every day and I feel more and more abysmally alone. I've even grown to miss Agaton and the way his beady little judgmental eyes watched the door for you every evening.
Suffice to say that I get by; some days on trembling legs, some nights with a bottle of wine and too much of your favorite music. Some days it's all I can do to get out of bed, but I do it because even the solace of our comforter is inadequate at keeping the chill of your absence at bay.
My days without you are the underlying meaning beneath indespensible. They are the implied malcontent, the unmentioned agony, the overlooked encroachment of a slow death.
Come back to me before there is nothing left to come back to.