it's four fifty three in the afternoon, and i'm having my morning coffee alone. i'm not sure what startled me awake, but here i am.
you're long gone, i know. i can feel your absence more than i could ever feel your presence.
i've been holding this cigarette so long it's gone out in my hand, burned all the way to the filter. i go to take a long drag and stop as i notice.
"fuck," i say out loud. it seems to resonate in this empty apartment.
i didn't think you'd ever really go through with leaving, though you've threatened it for years.
it started innocently enough. sitting at breakfast, you adjusting your tie, looking sadly at me.
"there's got to be more than this, eliza," you'd say.
"maybe there isn't. maybe shredded wheats and yesterday's coffee is all the world really has to offer," i'd respond, smiling a little.
i should have known you'd go and find out.
it's been one year, six months, and three days since you left. except, i'm not counting. i'd tell you how many hours if i didn't know it would give me away.
every morning, as soon as i wake up, i have my coffee and my cigarette, and i wait for you to come home. some days, i don't wake up at all.
money comes in unmarked envelopes, and i know it's from you. you never put a return address, and though i've learned to know better than to expect it, i still tear through the envelope in hopes of finding a letter.
sometimes i can smell your cologne on the bills, and i imagine you, in some far off place, looking a little bit older, a little bit more worldly, tucking them in and mailing them. i imagine that you plan to return someday. that maybe, you're counting down the days the same way i am counting them up. all of your new friends, wherever you are, always get to hear about "oh, when i get home to eliza..."
i wish you would. sometimes i think of getting on with my life, like you have. sometimes i dream of finding the 'more to the world' that you always talked about, or at least trying to find you. i suppose that i didn't need more as long as i knew that you were coming home and kissing my forehead as i slept, and carrying me into our room from the couch where i'd fallen asleep waiting for you. i didn't need more if i already had it all.
i finish my coffee and go back to bed, drowning the dreams swimming in my mind.