… and one day I wake up, and the sun's shining. Winter. Everything is winter white. Winter bright. Winter blue. And she's still gone. Still dead. But...
There are little foot falls, and I look. I've been sleeping sitting up, since it happened. Can't bear to go back to our bed, because she's not there. Don't want to eat, to move. Sometimes you have to. Sometimes you need to pee, sometimes you need to put water down your throat. But mostly...
Mostly you just sit. Sit and don't think. Sit and don't see.
This morning, I hear little feet, and I open my eyes, and there...
A little man. I forget sometimes how small he is.
He pulls up a stool, and stands at the sink. He's pouring water into a bowl.
Takes the bowl to the table.
Puts his hand in a bag of oatmeal.
Drops it in the bowl.
Stirs with a spoon.
Sits, and eats, and pulls faces. It must be sticking in his throat.
I wonder if he's hungry.
Then, I'm sleeping. I can hear the little man, walking round the house.
I wake up, and there's some fruit there, bread and cheese. Again. He's been leaving me apples. I think, I must have been eating something.
Next morning, before I wake, she's standing there, and she's got her arms folded in front of her chest.
“Bob,” she says, “enough of this. Get up.”
“Bob, get up. He's hungry.”
I blink, and wake up, and it's winter white, winter bright, winter blue.
The boy's not up yet.
I pull myself up to my feet, and walk to the sink. I'm shaky, but I'm standing. I look at myself in the mirror. When did I grow a beard?
She preferred me clean shaven.
The boy is talking in his sleep. He's crying for his Mommy.
I step outside. He's been feeding the dogs while I've been... while I've been sleeping. How long, weeks?
I feed the dogs. When I get back to the cabin I see that someone, a neighbour, has left a box at the door. Eggs, and potatoes, and fresh fruit.
I carry the box inside, and see there are bananas. The boy loves bananas.
I turn to the stove, and take a pan, and start to cook for him.
When he comes out of the room, and oh Lord, how did I let him get so skinny, I have his breakfast prepared.
We haven't said a word in weeks. I put out his warm oatmeal, slice the bananas. Put the bowl in front of him. He's sitting at the table, staring at me, like he's stunned.
I can't smile at him, can't hug him, can't think what to say.
Only one thing to say.