SunsetI kept staring at the date on the calendar. One year since she vanished. One whole year since my world stood still. I tried to replay those last moments but my mind refused to let them in, shutting them out and protecting me from the horror of it all. Occasionally her face would flicker into view, laughing and smiling then it would be gone in an instant and I would be left with nothing. Just an emptiness that overwhelmed me.

I got up and walked to the window. Our window, where we had hugged and dreamt of our future together. Now there was only blackness. I stared out, hoping to see her but all I saw was my own reflection; a gaunt, hunched and broken man staring into the wilderness of his soul.

I turned away, picked up the bottle of pills and emptied the contents into my hand. I wondered, whether I should I end it all, there and then? But I’d been there before, many times before. It was pointless until I knew; until I knew for sure. I swallowed four of them, gulping them down with a glass of whiskey. I sat down by the fire watching the wood cackle and spit embers out on to the hearth. One flicked on to the carpet and I watched it smoulder. It glowed red for an instant, then faded and died.

I heard the ringing. It grew louder and louder and jerking me back to life. I  picked up the phone.

“Hello,” I muttered.

There was silence but I could sense someone was there.

“Hello, who is it?”

Still silence. And then the sound. The music. Her music. Her song.

“Who the hell is it?” I shouted.

Then it was gone. I shouted again and again but there was only silence. I dropped the phone, sat up and stared at her picture. I pulled it to my face and kissed her. Kissed her again and again, trying to breathe some life back into her. But there was nothing. Just coldness.

I drove to the spot where she had vanished, climbed out of the car, wrapped the scarf around my face and walked to the edge of the cliff. The sea was churning below and I could just make out the rocks in the moonlight.

I turned as the headlights came on, trapping me in their beam. I closed my eyes, trying to shut the brightness out and walked towards them. Then I heard the engine throb into life.

I shouted, “Who’s there?” but all I could hear was the revving getting louder and louder. I tried to move but my legs were frozen to the spot. The car churned in the mud then accelerated towards me.

Then I saw her face, in the passenger seat, smiling and waving at me. I looked to her right and there was the man.

Then he smiled and I knew that I had found her. Found her after all this time. She was she and I was him.

© Graham Walker 2012


Photo courtesy of Flickr user taivasalla