And I miss you when you didn’t come back on the day I didn’t say goodbye, we didn’t kiss, we didn’t embrace, we were too busy, too wrapped up with getting ready for the day….”
by christine tothill
I miss you. I miss your knickers on the floor – the unmade bed. I miss the fragrance of your hair on the pillow next to mine. I miss the mess in the kitchen sink, the soggy teabags, the bits round the plughole, the stains on the side of the washing up bowl.
The way you talked to me, the way you listened, the turn of your head, the pulling of your fringe, the little habits. I miss the big ones too. The empty wine bottles stashed under the bed, the money missing from our bank account, the way you lied, the way you shouted and swore. I loved all that.
The evenings, the way we sat and argued; Corrie or Eastenders. News or music. I miss the way we didn’t talk, the way we made up, the urgency of it, the rapid lovemaking, the way we lay afterwards.
The bath routine, washing your hair, rinsing, drying – I miss all that. The times you let me do it in the bath and the shower, the times you locked me out the bathroom, the times you took overdoses, the times you were sick, the times I made you sick.
I miss the places we went, the drives into the country, the cream teas, the buying of things we didn’t need, with credit cards you hadn’t paid. I miss the friends we had, the ones you fucked. I miss the children we never had – the blood loss each and every month. I miss your moods, your headaches, your days in bed with hot water bottles, your marmite sarnies. Hot chocolate drinks in bed with ginger biscuits…
What about the holidays? The time we went to Venice, the Isle of Wight, the awful hotel in London where you wouldn’t sleep, the station bench at Waterloo, sex on the train in between stations, the sea journey to Aberdeen, the flight to New York and the way you slept on my shoulder, I miss you where ever I go.
I miss the moaning, the sending back, too hot, too cold, not cooked, not lamb, not rice. I miss all those. I miss sharing lobster, razor clams, prawns, oysters. I miss the laughter, the crying, sobbing.
I miss not saying goodbye; I miss not saying I love you. And I miss you when you didn’t come back on the day I didn’t say goodbye, we didn’t kiss, we didn’t embrace, we were too busy, too wrapped up with getting ready for the day. I missed you that day, and I will miss you forever.
I am sorry it was the day you died. I will miss you until the day I die.
I miss telling you I love you and I expect you miss nothing of the things I have listed because if you had you wouldn’t have done what you did. You would not have made it so obvious you didn’t want to live and I missed putting my finger down your throat and making you sick. I missed your anger, your rage, your heart – that day.
I missed the real thing after all the rehearsals and I am sorry.
(illustrations: dee sunshine)
Christine Tothill lives in Hampshire, England and writes short fiction. Her stories have been published in QWF, Scribble, Bright Light Cafe, Clover Books, Diddledog, Quiction and more. She is working on her novel and also plays the organ, if there is time left over. Many more of Christine’s stories can be found in the Vault of Smoke.