Yesterday I sat and listened to the rain. It sounded like a million military drummers, warning me to stay hidden inside. To stay wrapped up in my bed, window almost closed and book in hand. Every now and again I would walk to the window and look down on the street. I could see hundreds of brightly colored umbrellas, connecting together and overlapping, keeping their owners as dry as they could. I would look up to the sky and watch the huge, bulging beads of water being shot from the grey clouds. Looking up and down soothed me. Looking out at the enveloping grey cityscape I called my home put me on edge. The buildings seemed to drip with the water. It made me feel so far from the green that begged for rain like this. The drips slid down the window pane like little rivers, connecting together and moving towards the sill. I caught my reflection in the deep shadows from the city. Those drips looked like tears on face. But I didn’t cry at all yesterday.
I had been drinking a lot of green tea that day. Since I’d tried to cut back on caffeine I was always drinking some kind of tea. I didn’t mind it, but it wasn’t much of a substitute. I’d noticed that my anxiety had gone down little. I wasn’t nearly as edgy. But I was sleepy. The rain does that to me as well. Particularly the rain here. I didn’t get out of my pajamas all day. I just lay in bed and tried not to look out of the window unless it was towards the street or the sky. I heard my phone ring a couple of times. It was Mary. She had been in touch every day since Nick left. I had always answered and we always chatted away. At first, we always spoke about him. But recently she was always trying to make me laugh and trying to talk about everything except him. I always seemed to veer conversation towards him. She usually grabbed my thoughts tight and pulled them back, stopping them from wandering towards tears again. In the last two weeks, I had cried as much as the sky did that day.
I didn’t feel like talking to her yesterday though. I didn’t want to think about him, and talking to her would always make me do that. I associated her with part of the recovery process. I sent her a message telling her that I had been called into work. It was a Saturday. I knew that she wouldn’t believe me. But it was one of those little lies that you tell to let someone know that ‘now’ isn’t a good time. She messaged me right back, asking me to call her later. I stuffed my phone back into my bag and slipped back into bed. I had put fresh sheets on the night before but they still smelt a little of us. That delicate smell that we shared together. The pajamas hadn’t been washed in months. But I hadn’t been wearing them until a couple of weeks ago.
The day was dark. I had a scented candle burning next to me. His mom sent it as a gift to me at Christmas. The smell of cinnamon spread across the room. It mixed with the smell of rain that crept through the crack I’d left in the window. I’d left it there so that I could hear it clearly. The candle would flicker and sway to the sound of the drumming rain. Almost disappearing into the little gusts of wind that followed the smell. I had been reading “The Girl that Kicked the Hornet’s Nest”. It was one of those books that you can just switch off and read. Your mind will wander through the words, picking up just enough to stay on track. I needed something like that. Most of the books I had were what you would consider ‘literature’ I guess. But yesterday was no day for Shakespeare.
I had taken down all of the pictures of us that used to sit on my windowsill. I had gone through the collection I brought from home to find replacements. The thought of leaving that space bare was too much. I had pictures of my parents from before I was born. There was a Polaroid that my brother had sent me of his baby. I had pictures of Gary too, but I just looked at them. I couldn’t put them in place of Nick. Lots of memories came rushing back to me as I looked at Gary. I remembered exactly when I took the picture. He had just finished changing the strings on my guitar. All of the worn strings were lying at his feet. I remember that he was playing a Led Zeppelin song. ‘Babe I’m Gonna Leave you.” I used to sing along with him when he would play that song. His long hair covered his face. I moved here about three months later. I put the picture back into the shoe box and closed the lid. I slid the box back under my bed. I looked over at the drawer where the pictures of Nick were. It felt like they were prepared to go on waiting, indefinitely.