Looking out down the road from our balcony, I can almost taste cigarette on my lips. It”™s a wonder how death erases the mortal cravings for the fundamentals like food and nicotine, but leaves vivid memories of your life past. I wince as I turn towards the deck chair that you used to laze in on evenings like this, half expecting you to blow a long stream of smoke into my face, but there was only emptiness.

I remember running my fingers through your long, brown hair, and getting them caught in the wet tangles while you giggled at my confusion. Peering into the ashtray, I catch the sight of the extinguished butts of my Reds and your Lights. How long has it been left that way? I have no way of telling. Time seems lost to me. I walk into the bedroom, lie down on the bed and remember your silky, soft skin pressing against my body.

I know now that death does not bring respite to the broken. It is an infinite playback of the memories and the pain.

Where are you now?


My vision is blurry. Oh, yes, it”™s clearing up now. The bedroom is coming into focus. I feel a sense of disassociation or displacement. I have no need to get the words right. All that doesn”™t matter now that I am dead. Am I dead?

I dart towards the living room. Then, from room to room. No signs of you. I watch the last rays of the sun setting beyond the horizon. You are supposed to be home now, standing on the balcony bathing in the sunset, with me on the deck chair. Where are you? Why aren”™t you home? For one frantic moment, a sickening thought sweeps over me. What if you are gone? I head towards the closet, swing the door wide open and there ““ all your pressed white shirts just as I have left them. But where are you?

As darkness hangs over the living, gulping down the orange sun until there is only whiteness of the moon rays left, dread creeps into me. I trace my fingers around your half-used Ralph Lauren”™s Romance, flick the cover over but there is no scent. All that is lost with death, I guess. I can almost see the surprise on your face the day I bought you that perfume. We were almost strangers then.

Where have those times gone? Smoke-filled nights in empty bars, dancing on the beach. I lie down on my side of the bed, missing the warmth of your body.

Death does not bring respite to the broken. It is just an infinite playback of the memories and the pain.

Where are you now?

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