The miles between us weighed
heavily on his gentle voice.
He sighed rhapsodies of
“someday” into the receiver, as
my iron heart anchored
me to my lonely bed.
We took turns reaching for
comforting coos in our divided darkness.
Every word he spoke inscribed
his name in yet another swirling script
just under my skin. Try as it may, this
breadth of terrain could never erase it.
She desperately searched his weary face for answers that would never be revealed.
Suddenly, she was seven years old again: Her parents had taken her and her sister for a picnic down by the lake, and she had forgotten to remove the pearl earrings her grandmother had given her from her tiny ears.
The little girls took turns doing cannonballs off the dock, making a competition out of who could create the biggest splash. When she climbed out of the water for the fourth or fifth time and took a moment to assess her form, her sister pointed out that one of the small ivory spheres was missing.
Her hand impulsively shot up to pinch her earlobe. Her breath caught and eyes widened as she inspected its newfound emptiness with her fingertips. In a split second, she dove back into the fern green water to search for the lost treasure. Her heart sank faster than she did as she haphazardly reached into the murky depths in hopes that the tiny, shimmering orb would manifest in front of her face like a rising moon. Instead, she inadvertently found herself surrounded by pondweed, which appeared as if it meant to entangle and drown her. She realized that in her haste to get back into the water, she had forgotten to take a breath. She thrashed wildly to escape what had soon become a forrest of serpentine limbs, and immediately swam back to the surface; gasping for air, wailing for her mother, and knowing not only that the jewel was gone forever, but that it was entirely her fault.
Hopelessness. That’s what surrounded her that day in the lake. That’s what was reflected back at her in his lacquered, rosy, dog-tired eyes.
(Emotional Recall by madly_deeply)