Faces set low in sorrow real and imagined, creases cut deeper and deeper into foreheads, eyes coated with a glassy film all sliced me into smaller and smaller pieces until I was paired down to a miniscule chunk of sanity and that itself was melting. And as I melted I shatter then I burned.
Heinous rhythms of pounding feet and wheezing breath bled into my brain, playing over and over again as I clumsily escaped down the hall. Nothing else exsisted, only the sickeningly familiar Thump! Thump! Thump! resonated throughout my body. Even the approach of my door didn't register until I found myself crashing through it onto dingy carpet.
Attempting to collapse in on myself and disappear altogether, I knotted up there on the floor and closed my eyes. After the suppression of blackness could no longer hold my thoughts, they spilled out of my mind and swelled to fill my head. Then the complete reality of what my daze had shielded me from set in.
I would never be greeted by her voice early in the morning. Never see the joy on her face when the movie ended just as she'd hoped. I realized that without Julie I did not have the slightest idea how to be Audrey. I never had.
To free my mind of all of it's weight I tried to glance around the room, hoping for thoughtless blurs and shapes to focus on,but I couldn't do it. I knew what I would find there. The two of us at beaches and birthdays year after year littered every surface and reminders more stark permeated elsewhere. The original marquee poster of The Graduate she had saved up for weeks to buy, my copy of the Bob Dylan t-shirts we had worn for weeks on end. Even scribbled notes holding plans for great adventures. A concert this week a festival the next, all of which we knew we would never get to.
I wanted to look, to see, but I couldn't tear my eyes away from the empty navy populating my window. And as I finally released myself into that lack, it settled. The taste, the touch, the sound of silence.