Sunday, November 22, 2015

Silver Threads and Colored Dreams

I scroll through my phone, looking for my favorite picture of Eden, and when I find it I show it to him.

"She's beautiful."

"She really is," I have to concur.  "They both are.  They're so beautiful."  I look at Sean, who is nodding in agreement.  We're seated at the bar and around us, Friday night activity buzzes about at rapid speed, but we are standing still in the moment. My eyes wander to the shelf above the register where Gabriel's photo sits.  Sean puts his hand on mind for comfort, and the tears immediately well in my eyes.  "What is he like?"

"You.  He's like you, and Ben too, but mostly you.  He's got the best of both of you."  I smile as the tears spill.

"Does he miss me?"

"It's not like that.  He talks about you and he follows you and helps where he can.  But he doesn't understand what it means to miss someone.  I don't either, anymore.  It's different there."

I pull my eyes from Gabriel's photo to look at Sean again, knowing this moment won't last long.  He reaches for the top of my head, grabs a strand of hair, and without looking I know what he's got.  "I found it a couple of months ago.  I think there's another, I think there's two now, that I've found."

"Are you going to color it?"

"I don't know.  I'm really lazy about stuff like that.  I don't really take care of myself at all anymore."

"You earned this."  He pulls the strand, then lets it fall from his hand.  "Do what you want.  Color it, or don't.  But you've put in your time."  I stare at him, and he stares back, the unspoken words between us confirming that he is one of the reasons for the lines on my face, the grey in my hair, the sadness in my eyes that never really seems to disappear completely.  He blinks, as if to say he's sorry.

Sean starts to stand, and I start to panic.  The time always goes by so quickly.  I rush to stand, to stop him.  "I have to go to the bathroom.  I'll be right back."  His voice is unconvincing.  "Wait right here.  I'll be right back."

I want to follow, but my feet weight me down and I sink back onto the barstool and wait.  He disappears into the bathroom and I wait for the sound, but there is none.  Time ticks by, I'm not sure how much, because while everyone around me is moving quickly, I am standing still, until I will myself to walk to the door.  I lean against it, knocking softly.


Someone passes by me. "Lady, that's the men's. . ."

"Shut the fuck up," I snap, and he walks away with a drunken shrug.  "Sean?" I say, as I push the door open, knowing.  And there he is, his legs sticking out of the stall, stiff and unmoving.  Next to them is the gun.  The room is spinning around me and all I can do is fall into the whirl of it all, my black hair whipping about and woven with a strand of silver.

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