Today will be the day I bring myself to the edge of the cliff to smell the salty air where we used to watch the marigold sunset leak through the storm clouds that took permanent residence over the green sea. I will stand where you always stood, where the earth has been carved out by your frequent impressions, slowly healing with your absence.
The fishing boats docked early in response to their decks being tackled by the frothy waves. There was a torrential downpour overflowing the ocean, spilling water into the port and causing the shipyard to buzz with the hollers of captains and the grunts of deckhands.
I left work early and watched the shops close as owners and shoppers rushed to their cars to retreat back home where they thought it safe against the looming force that crept towards them from the sea. They thought being at home where it was dry and warm was an impregnable fortress, where it was impossible for threat to infringe on comfort, familiarity, and content. There was still a chance of warmth at the memory of you with me on that cliff.
I sped where I shouldn’t have and almost hit the woman who runs the antique bookshop. She fell into a puddle and I have never felt so ashamed and pathetic in my life since mother caught me masturbating. I silently begged for the woman’s forgiveness and continued towards the lighthouse.
The windshield wipers frantically swept away layer after layer of rain in an endless, mechanical hum. There you are standing next to the lighthouse on the cliffside, rain falling about, basking you in the dreary glow of coastal winter. I saw you standing there except it wasn’t you. I had seen you there many times so that your figure is burned in my mind and I cannot look at things or think of things anymore without you being there.
It is muddy and soft where you stood and I am sinking. I wonder how long I can stand here before your footprints pull me into the earth where I may finally stop thinking about you, where I may finally have peace and quiet and no longer will these voices remind me of the hole you left and the places we would never see and the wrinkles I would never kiss and the daughter you would never know. But your love is in my heart and I love her like you loved me even though I cannot love myself. I am merely a vessel passing on the purpose and passion of one into the other. I do not exist, I am haunted, and I cannot rest.
The clouds parted as the rain soothed to a drizzle and the boats still rocked against the final waves exiting the storm. The sun had already gone over the horizon and the night was brighter than any he had seen before.