The first time he died I didn’t speak. I made no sound as I looked to the night sky and noted its’ colours for the first time. I had always assumed the night sky was black, my limited knowledge of such things derived from the phrase ‘black as night’. But it wasn’t black it was a glorious mix of navy blues, deep purples and the stars blinked back at me in sheer disbelief like they too were fighting back tears.
Dragging my gaze from the sympathy in the heavens my eyes fell on his frozen form in the middle of the road. I felt the familiar feeling of pain rise in my throat and had to fight before it was released as a wounded scream into the dark. Falling to my knees I finally let the pain wash over me and broke down, the tears flowing freely before freezing into cruel patterns on my cheeks. The acute stabbing of loss in my chest was the only reason I knew I was still alive.
With a deep breath and an even deeper sigh I searched in my pocket for the piece of paper he had left me with. When preparing for this moment I had mocked him, laughed in his face that the idea was absurd, that nothing in this world could bring those that were gone back. But now something in me had shifted and I believed. I believed not because I wanted to – sure enough as I read the instructions every fibre of logic I had rang in my ears disapprovingly – I believed because I had to.
There was no way I was losing him, not now, not ever. I knew there was a risk, he had warned me of that. Leaving it too long meant I would not bring back the reflection of my soul I had loved for 6 years – but something else entirely different. Do it too early and I ran the risk of pulling an errant soul from the abyss waiting eagerly for a way out.
I glanced at my watch, closed my eyes, heard the words on the paper and immediately snapped them open again.
Trying again before grief caught up with me and common sense made me stop I read the words. I saw them behind my eyes this time, swimming in a never-ending stream of confusion and hope.
The hope prevailed and I opened my streaming eyes with an almost inaudible gasp. A mist of vague colours surrounded me, one I recognised immediately as him. Struggling with the concept of my situation I called out before I lost the argument with myself.
I moved through the fog of souls, avoiding those that made me shiver with fear. I knew I had to reach him before they became aware of his empty vessel of a body and used it for themselves. My extended hand tenderly touched the cobalt blue of his soul, a thing so beautiful I felt myself well up with pride that I was lucky he loved me.
Guiding it slowly towards his lifeless body I knelt down and watched helplessly as they became one again. A nagging doubt took hold of me as I waited to see if my choice was the right one – was it him?
Feeling his body warm beneath my frozen fingers and holding my breath I silently hoped I was right.
His eyes opened dreamily as he took in his surroundings before finally focusing on me. As our gaze locked I saw his eyes smile and knew he had come home to me. My vision blurred with tears I couldn’t stop and in our first embrace I vowed never to let him go.
Yes, the first time he died I didn’t speak – but I did believe.