Intangible Memories

I still have the pocket watch you gave me. I remember laughing at it, calling it “antique” and “old-timey.” I’m listening to it now, its steady rhythm the only thing tethering me to reality.

Tick…tick…tick…tick… Eventually the sound is the only thing in the entire room that matters. Like the beat of my heart, sometimes it’s barely perceptible, but sometimes, it thunders in my ears. A constant reminder of what we used to be. A reminder of your thoughtfulness. And a reminder of your absence. My eyes glazed over, thinking about the memories of when you were still here, alive and well.

Tick…tick…tick… My eyes were exhausted, no tears left to shed but wanting to cry more. Knees hugged up to my chest, head resting on them for support, wanting to make myself as small as possible. Anything to forget you. Anything to remember you. You never liked being in photos. From the day I met you to the very end, I had not a single picture of you. And now, when I think of us, your face is fuzzy, as if the moment had been filmed and captured by a bad quality camera. I had originally pushed the thought of you away because I thought it would be painful. But now, I’d do anything to remember. Were your eyes gray or a dull blue? Did you have short, practical nails or did you frequently forget to cut them? What did your laugh sound like? Did your eyes crinkle when you laughed? Was the necklace you always wore made of silver or gold?

Tick…tick… I couldn’t remember, I couldn’t remember. Only glimpses of certain moments remain in my memory, and even those are fading. If I couldn’t remember anything of you, would you still have existed? Would what we had still have existed? I would have nothing, nothing at all. Only the knowledge of your absence. Frustration pricked my eyes, but they remained dry. How could I cry for someone I couldn’t even remember?

Tick… The pocket watch glinted in the sliver of the sun’s rays that passed through the window. Picking it up, I noticed that the clock hands were stuck, perpetually repeating the 34th second. I was empty. I had nothing left of you. Memories deserted me and even the one, tangible item you left me had malfunctioned. Its steadiness used to reassure me, knowing that time always continued. Until it too, took its final, shuddering breath, and stopped.

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