As time closed in on each day, what was supposed to be summertime was coming to an end. The calendar had it printed in black and white and the distant smell of charcoal briquettes, created by the brave, had died.
Despite a coolness dragging through our morbid sky, I was shrouded by an anxious heat. I felt nervous, as though I was about to sit an exam. An exam I hadn’t prepared for but needed to pass.
In all honesty, there was no real reason to be nervous, I just couldn’t convince myself of that.
In my eyes, this was it. Just like it had been all the other times before.
Waiting was hard. Despite the other fifty-one weeks of knowing, this last week had felt like fifty-one of not.
The week passed and my nervous disposition turned. I thought it would only be a week of waiting. I’d agreed that with myself.
Doubt was all I could muster. It plagued each mundane task. I could find myself adjusting the cushions and suddenly be engulfed in sweat that poured from my palms.
After the second week had trudged by, dragging its cold absence, confusion was my main state. I would rehearse a series of possible events in my mind. Over in a matter seconds and then instant panic would shoot from the depths of my skull and smack me between the backs of my eyes.
I knew. Inside.
There were loads of glaring signs in reality. I had simply chosen to ignore them. No bins out. No curtain movement. No windows open. No visitors.
Nerves + doubt + confusion + hope + ignorance + realisation = despair or relief.
This formula could be applied to many of life’s dramas, with different outcomes. In this case, it resulted in despair.
Even in despair, with two elements from the formula – ignorance and hope, unspoken, I could cling to this person for as long as my heart needed.