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Sometimes, I think I see you out there. Then, my heart skips a beat, two beats, I can’t breathe properly and feel like drowning in the masses, desperately trying to catch your glance. I row and row through the stream of strangers passing me, but only for me to realize, that it is just the same jacket, that you once put over my shoulders when it was in the middle of the night and I was freezing and was too stubborn to go back in because I didn’t want to talk with you.
Sometimes I want to call after you. What would the people around me think, if there would be no response? I could laugh it off, say that I forgot to put on my glasses. As you did ever so often, frowning deeply, trying to focus.

There’s days, I think I would never see you again. I feel lost then, alone. Even when I sit with Die and we laugh and chat. My smile doesn’t reach my eyes, the words melt away in the fire that is burning in me. I guess, no amount of water could extinguish this fire that is slowly killing me from me inside. The air is hot then, dense. I can’t concentrate on anything anymore, mess up even the easiest of tasks. The blaze licks on old wounds that you ripped open and never cared to look after. You left me bleeding. But I guess, that is just fair? I’m not a child anymore, I should be able to take care of myself. Maybe, you knew that I was stronger than I thought.

There’s been days, I felt your presence, so vividly that it shook me to my very core and sent an ice cold shiver down my spine even on the hottest day of July. It’s those days, I can’t sleep and need routine. I feel odd, off, as if you tilt a frame two millimetres. It’s those days, I sit alone and fill the silence with words. I tell you stories about the past months. As if you would be present, because I for sure believe, that you are near. Maybe you hear me. When my mind is clear and I can put my feelings into words without sounding as if I would blame you on the miserable situation I feel I am in.

Sleepless nights, I can’t even think of a time where I last found a decent night rest. I feel the coldness around me, the lack of you. It’s those nights, I wake up in cold sweat, gasping for air, tears blurring my sight as I try to figure out where I am, the night lamp showing the mess I made with the blankets that I meticulously put around my body before I close my eyes. I can’t count the nights I woke up like this, it would make a good statistic, huh?

The hours where I can finally escape from reality, make it only worse when the daylight wakes me up. It’s not even cruel nightmares that haunt me. I dream of you, of us. About the endless bickering, the cheerful evenings, the tension. I dream about your hands, that flowed down my body as shivers ran down my spine and I had to close my eyes because I thought this wasn’t real. Now I wish I would have let my eyes open. To remember the look on your face, how you traced my silhouette with your eyes, your lips.
By the time I wake up, it feels like a cruel nightmare. A reminder, sitting in the back of my head, pounding memories, scraps of conversations, in my mind.
By the time I wake up, I don’t know where I am most mornings. Ah, yes, Die’s house. Somewhere, down the main part, in one of his guestrooms. If you have stayed here too? I would have wanted to know more about you. But you know, the past is history, you always said.
Some mornings, when I still try to find my way out of the fog of memories, I’m not sure anymore if I dreamed of you or my mind replayed a memory once again. I feel like I lose grip on those things.

This is why I’m afraid, but also looking forward to closing my eyes. So I can be with you again, even if it is just my mind tricking me, lulling me with sweet images only for me to wake up alone, my hands cramping around the pillow, unable to wipe away my tears. By the time I wake up, I wash off the last remnants of the night. You always did this, when we were together. Now, all I’m left with is just the greasy sweat, I can take care of that by myself. Until I feel like a somewhat decent being again, I shove the pictures away, drain out your voice by the sound of the shower.
You became a dream, that I can’t quite remember by the time the first rays of sunlight creep into this room.
So many things started to merge together, I feel like I lost grip of time. Did I ever tell you, that I liked the blue jacket on you? Or that your hands were warm, comforting, when you showed me how to handle an automatic gun without being pushed back by the recoil?
Did I ever tell you, how much I loved it, waking up next to you?

I guess this is the worst part. Not even for the time where my eyes are closed and images of us haunt me. But for facing the next day without you. I dread the hours my mind tries to stay in this reality, fill them with work. As long as my body has energy, I run around and keep myself busy, when I sit down, I keep my head busy. Die is proud of me I guess? It is but a mere façade that I’m trying to keep upright. You’d see through my bullshit in not even a second.
Your skilled eyes would notice all the fatigue of the past months. So, maybe it is for the better, that you don’t come back, that you don’t see me like this. Maybe you would laugh about it, tell me a stupid joke and then kiss me so I would close my eyes and can drown in you again.

Maybe it’s stupid, you would call me childish and sappy, but sometimes I go back to the closet, in the darkest corner. There’s your jacket, on a hook, right next to mine. It still smells from gunpowder, cold cigarette smoke and your aftershave. It smells of all the nights you put it around my shoulders when I was cold, it smells of all the nights I put it around my shoulders because it was cold without you. Some days, I run my fingertips over the seams, as you ran your fingertips over my chest ever so often. You know, there’s one seam that ripped on that day. The thread was cut off, hangs loose on it. The other end of the thread is stuck somewhere on the inside, lost in the inner lining probably.
Ironic, huh? I’m out there, bare, still holding out my arms while you merged into the darkness.
Were we two lines, that at some point crossed ways? I’m still looking back, behind me, trying to see where you went. But it’s dark, and I don’t know if I’m dreaming when I see you, or if I would one day wake up again with you next to me.