Simon sung just yesterday. It was so amazing to hear, after ten years of mute disinterest in the world around him, a memory must have just entered his mind. Croakier than the last time I heard him sing, and almost in a flat monotone, but I recognised the words. “With a hole in my hand, and a strength to my stand. With a flame in my heart, burnin me again.”
I choked on a startled sob, searching his eyes for some realisation of what he had done. But just like the line itself, all recognition seemed to have left him. I could almost see those green eyes dim back to the empty grey shells I had become so damningly accustomed to. In hindsight I couldn’t expect more, but I found the song he had sung on one of my mp3 playlists and knelt next to him as it played.
See the marker stone, see the heavy load.
Simon looked toward the speakers, scrunching his eyes up forcing himself to try and remember. He looked in horrendous pain as the paper thin skin crinkled and squashed his face tight.
See I can’t move on, with my lantern gone.
I sing the lines softly next to him, holding his hand as tight as my frail wrists would allow. He turned to me looking into my eyes. He could obviously see the silent plea in my irises for a solitary tear spilled over his lids.
I’m not afraid to let you start in my life again.
My heart begins to break for him, I know deep in the recesses of his ruptured psyche, Simon is trying his hardest to swim back to the surface. He taps his other hand in relative time to the music, but the recognition hasn’t returned to his face. He is still a crumpled blank page in a floral chair. A zombie, bitten by his own mind,
forced to sit dribbling and struggling. I am now fighting back the tears.
With a hole in my hand, and a strength to my stand.
Simon is there somewhere; I search the leaking eyes for a sign of him. Somewhere behind the dimmed lanterns of silence, there is a flickering flame looking for some fuel to ignite.
See the ropes are long, and they hold on strong.
I begin to wish I had ignored his singing, I should have known better than to feel that Simon was back, even temporarily. I release his hand and replaced it with my cheek as I turn my head to look at the speakers of my mp3 player, just to feel the coolness of hands against my skin. This is the only way I can tell him I love him, and know that he understands. But I know they aren’t Simon’s hands that I am lying on. His hands were always so warm.
See I can’t move on with my freedom gone.
I will lay here until the song finishes, before I go back to reading my trashy nonsensical romance stories. The stories used to captivate my cynical nature, for I knew better what love was. It was nothing like the mills and boon regurgitated bullshit that flooded the ‘Help the Aged’ centre around the town. I genuinely cared not for the swooning, extraordinarily handsome men, and their transparent measures of wooing the heroine of these pseudo-stories; fake love was never as interesting to me, until the moment I realised the love in Simon had died.
With a hole in my hand.
I realised then exactly what I was doing. I was grieving for Simon. I was grieving for a living and breathing man who was alive in all ways but where it mattered. I know Simon would have rather lost his body before his mind. Simon had died many
years ago, this I knew, I have been just maintaining an empty shell. A squat and bulbous shell that contained nothing of my beautiful Husband just sat and supped soup, vegetating in front of a flickering television, day in, day out.
With a flame in my heart. Burn in me again. With a hole in my hand. With a hole in my hand. With a hole in my hand.
The song had ended and I left the room, I came here into the kitchen and have sat here for about two hours. Of those two hours, I have spent ninety minutes releasing a waterfall of teardrops. Years of frustration, years of worry, hurt, anger, love, that oh so sickly sweet tempestuous emotion of love should never have led me to this moment. I cried, and I cried, and I cried. So would you, if you knew everything we went through. Most people think I should be grateful I got the best part of thirty good years with the man I loved. But we had promised each other an eternity.
Do you know what I miss the most? I miss the music. I miss me and Simon in a room surrounded by harmonious sounds, thudding drums and emotive voices. It was with music that Simon and I first truly became friends.