Day Two at 6:19am
- Awake with beads of perspiration on forehead and a pounding in chest to cell phone ringing under pillow. Realize with fumbling fingers and sinking feeling that accidentally slept through all three alarms set for early morning run. Answer phone and apologize profusely to running partner Jeannine and admit that didn’t wake up in time to change for run. Curse self out in embarrassment. Encourage her to meet other friend twelve blocks away and that you’ll join her next week, you swear, even though you said that last time. Mentally bless her when she cheerfully shrugs off apology and agrees to meet the following week. Like a sleepy guardian, get up and stumble towards the window and protectively watch her run down the block, making sure no bums attack her until she’s out of sight. Drag self back to bed like zombie and stare blankly at ceiling. Briefly allow thoughts to wander back to if he were sleeping here tonight how he would caress your back with his eyes closed and mumble for you to lie back down, gently guiding you back to sleep. In unexpected burst of bitterness, launch out of bed, reach for your phone and dial that guy from work who said you could reach out to him if need be. Instantly regret decision when he blearily answers call. Bite lip hard, hang up quickly and brainstorm potential lies explaining how he was accidentally dialed at 6:22am.
- Sleep through running partner Jeannine’s phone call and awake with seven minutes left before work as all alarms were set to 4:20am, 4:40am, and 4:50am to meet up with running group. Call work immediately and apologize to supervisor saying will be in as soon as possible. Get dressed in panic without thinking too much about events of last night and arrive at work, realizing you forgot packed lunch you’d spent so much time making the previous evening. Get through the morning with pounding in chest, drink too much coffee to wake self up and consequently get stomach ache. Torture mind along with stomach of thoughts of him since his seemingly common stomach aches were a source of contention between you two. Think of how you won’t have the chance to recommend that gastro doc to him since you both decided on radio silence for the next few weeks. Throughout the day, much like yesterday, get sniffly and blame swollen eyes on “allergies.” Try to concentrate on work.
- Awake to ringing cell phone and answer running partner Jeannine’s call, apologizing profusely that you’ve woken up too late. Mentally bless her when she cheerfully tells you not to worry- you’d seemed distracted during the last run and maybe it’s best just to rest because coming out this morning would be pushing self too much. Blurt out reason for own “distraction” and cringe inwardly as she does the obligatory sigh and apologizes for situation. After hanging up, take long, hot shower and stand in towel in front of closet looking at the clothes he didn’t take yet. Remind self he’s not dead but realize that you’ll never have him like you used to. Climb into bed semi-wet from shower taking careful note of his absence and shiver to sleep. Wake up late to work and panicky after realizing you didn’t reset your alarm. Proceed to number 2.
- Awake and change in time to meet running partner Jeannine. Get attacked by bum on way to meeting running group. Use mace. Thank past self for having the foresight to buy that stuff. Once police arrive, realize you can’t call him like you normally would and ask for an escort back home.
- Awake and change in time to meet running partner Jeannine. Meet running group and remain quiet throughout run, much to friends’ notice. While running past the river, replay worst bits of events from last night over and over and distractedly run home after obligatory eight miles. Shower like a zombie, crawl back into bed and cry self back to sleep.
- Awake late to running partner Jeannine’s call and apologize profusely that won’t be able to meet her this morning. Watch from window as she runs out of sight to meet other running friend twelve blocks away. Blankly look around dark apartment and slowly guide self back to bed. Close eyes as his phantom places its ghost hand on your back and gently caresses self down into the covers. Turn over on left side and mentally send him prayers of love, support, blessings and perhaps most appropriately, the Greek blessing he taught you that is meant to relieve suffering. Think of his sweet, gorgeous face and pray for his continued strength which he claims only comes from you. Imagine you’re tracing his eyebrows, mouth and nose with your finger and open tear-soaked eyes to realize you’re tracing the pillow he used to sleep on. Feel own body shudder and try to remember that in the long term, this decision was for the best. Fight urge to call him and cry for him to come back. Awake again clutching his pillow and slowly, zombie-like, get ready for work. Stand in doorway before leaving apartment and feel the weight of another day pressing itself over the sky. Inhale so deeply that your heart begins to harden itself. Think of him. Think of him. Think of him. Begin the walk to work and wonder what he’s doing now.