He knew that the day would come, knew that their story would end.
A dozen hangers, five blank CDs, two tubs of dish-washing paste, a pouch of cotton buds, a tube of toothpaste, a bar of bath soap, a container of crackers, a clothes hamper, a roll of aluminum wrap, a half-empty bottle of vodka, and three pink roses.
He had given her so many things that day, more than he had at one time in their years together. A day before he left, he gave away the things he had no need for. He left them with her, the one he was also leaving behind.
Like him, she had no use for these things except as vital proof of the world she had with him. Seeing them told her that he really existed. In a way, it felt like she was keeping him.
He moved on with the life that did not include her. Far away, in a place where he had nothing that would allow him to remember. There was no time to draw up her face in his mind. It seemed so long ago.
She drowned in memories of the life she had with him, even if she knew he was gone. She was right where he left her, in a place where everything was a reminder. Each day stretched to forever.
The few promises he made but always kept, letters she wrote by hand, countless nights of whispered conversations, long silences spent holding hands, basking in sunshine then counting raindrops, the world was forgotten in moments spent dreaming of a future that will never happen.
She knew how the day would come, knew how their story would end.
It was with the same certainty that fresh pink petals will soon turn into brown withering shadows.
The roses are dying. Their deaths begun quietly but inevitably from the moment he picked them out in the shop and wrapped them in pink and violet paper. She no longer remembers what these roses looked like when he gave them to her.
They are but a sad echo of what they used to be.
He knew he will break the last promise he made to her. She knew she was just another sigh in his long line of forgotten ghosts. Yet knowing does not assuage the pain of a broken promise neither does it make being forgotten any easier to accept.
They knew that the day would come, knew how their story would end.
But they didn’t know when. They didn’t know they were already ending long before the waiting, even before the leaving. With time boring a gaping chasm, even the end has begun closing in on itself–swallowing dying flowers, broken promises, and forgotten memories. Then there will be nothing.
The silence has already begun.
*24/02/10/ 0358 Wednesday