The alarm clock goes off. The one you hated because of its rather incessant blaring. I needed it to get up those rare mornings when I had an early shift at the clinic. Those few mornings when I had to leave our bed, with you wrapped in the duvet like a caterpillar. Hiding from the early rays of the sun peeking through the curtains and the rising cacophony of city noises. You would snuffle loudly and settle down again, while I moved stealthily and quietly through my morning routine. I know how little you slept so when you did sleep. I did my best to keep the world at bay those mornings, to ensure your rest.
Now I use the alarm clock to try and establish a new routine. Not nearly ready to face the world but determined to start my day. My hands still reach for the empty space at my side. The damned tremor back again, mocking my attempts at normalcy. The undisturbed other pillow on our bed offers no comfort and is an unmoving unfeeling judge in my attempts at moving forward without you. I roll over to the frigid side of our bed, and try to inhale your rapidly fading scent from the cold pillow. Too soon there will be nothing of your scent left. I miss the sounds you used to make while you were still deep in slumber. I imagine and picture you in the shower while I stretch out slowly in our bed. Pretending you're still here, but it's all a lie, a placid memory that floats by. I am alone with memories of us. I blink back the tears and swallow the lump ever present in my parched throat and get out of bed.
Those first few days without your presence wounded me deeply. Even now, I can't say it, even though I was there and I watched you fall. In slow motion my nightmare becomes real again, every night. Immobilized by the agony of my loss, I rarely left our bed let alone our flat, for days after the fall. Well meaning concerned friends and family stopped in but I was beyond comfort. I am still in mourning for you. The funeral and its aftermath are nothing more than a hazy somnabolent episode.
Some days the heart sick pain I feel is less intense. I can go back to a place in time before there was an us. I can pretend I am fine for a couple of hours. I can go to Tesco and sometimes remember to buy enough for one. I miss you and your acerbic discourse regarding the ordinary everyday scurryings of other people on our walks.
It's terrible in the mornings, the mornings I forget you are no longer here with me in our flat. I make two settings of toast and tea before I realize that there is only me. I sigh in resignation and look to the ceiling. I am no longer hungry or thirsty, this painful knot of misery stretching itself out in the hollow that resides where my heart lies. Some mornings, I am better at remembering. I clear away the extra setting of unecessary tea and toast. I sit quietly in my tidy uncluttered kitchen, missing you and your scientific detritus desperately. My tea rapidly cooling and toast untouched, lost in the memories of better times.
I can pretend that I am moving forward to ease your brother's guilt over his actions. Ease my own guilt over not seeing how badly everything was rapidly becoming with Moriarty's poisonous presence in our lives. How little you thought you could trust me with his treacherous underhanded schemes. How you were slowly drifting away, in order to protect me. I should have been there protecting you, from Moriarty and his insanity. Instead I tried to pretend everything was alright. Somehow knowing damn well nothing would be the same. Everything was changing. Everything we had worked towards, your reputation spiralled into a vortex of darkness. I couldn't save you from that deep dark hell, my love. That is my deepest regret.
It's so quiet without you. My beautiful whirling dervish in the Belstaff coat, the light of my life.
Even when we were physically distanced by work. We always kept in touch with a text here and there. A quick call to say I miss you, I'm thinking of you, I love you. Now my phone is silent. I reread our texts and smile through the tears. I replay the voicemails left behind. To remember your voice, so that I never forget you. How you made me feel alive and needed. I live in the past for now, hoping beyond hope, that tomorrow will be a better day.