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Day 5

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It is day five without Holmes. I have not gone this long without seeing him since we met, one year and eight months ago. It feels like I am living on auto-pilot.

He said he needed to be away for work. I know, although I don't like it, this city needs him more than I do. His job is not to save me again and again; that has never been his job. The hardest part is not knowing whether or not he is alright. He said he would be back soon, but I have this fear pounding at the front of my skull that the days will turn into weeks and he will not come home to me. I know he is married to his work; I know I am his mistress, but I am afraid he has found a way out, and has taken it. I cannot say I would blame him.

I do not feel sad; I feel mildly anxious, but my days go by mechanically. I find myself staring a lot. I find myself cooking entirely too much food. When I manage to sleep, I wake up to find I have tangled myself around his pillow. The ghost of his scent is everywhere.

If he does not come back, I will continue to live this half-life. But I want to believe he will, because he promised me with conviction that he would not leave; and made me promise I would not let him. I lie awake and imagine he's returned home. I would pretend I am sleeping; he would peek through the doorway in the dark and quietly get into bed beside me. I would pull him close to me and silently welcome him back; no words, only kisses, only two people together.

I always thought I would turn violent without him, or that it would be too much to bear. I know now that I would turn into a shell. Penelope waited for Odysseus for twenty years, weaving her tapestry. I would do the same. I would wait, and wait, and wait. I would wait in this bed until my hair turned white and my eyes grew cloudy. These sheets would be my bridal gown; this pillow my veil.

 

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Don't go far off, not even for a day, because -
because - I don't know how to say it: a day is long
and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station
when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep.

Don't leave me, even for an hour, because
then the little drops of anguish will all run together,
the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift
into me, choking my lost heart.

Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach;
may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance.
Don't leave me for a second, my dearest,

because in that moment you'll have gone so far
I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking,
Will you come back? Will you leave me here, dying?

-Pablo Neruda