All I’ve said and done . . .

            The past sneaks in like some figure at night riding on a black horse. I hobble into the stale, shiver of light to see the heavy ripples. To see the weighted shadows.  

            The voices whisper. Warm against my ear, they tell me where to go and what to do. The icy pebbles peck against the window like they’ve done for the last twenty-four hours. Winter’s angry arrival is getting back at fall’s unhurried departure. The photo, small in its cheap frame, still sits there on the counter next to the lone toothbrush in a plastic cup. Last night there were two of them in there. 

            Where’d she go? 

            I can’t stop asking this. I know the why and the when, but I’m not sure of the where. 

            She took barely anything. I can hear the warning she once gave me.

            “Belongings only weigh you down,” she said. “In order to be ready to escape, you have to be lightweight. And you have to ready at any given moment.”

            “So how do you get to the point of letting everything go?” 

            “When you open your eyes.” 

            I hear these words again, this foreshadowing farewell, this soul’s declaration. 

            When you open your eyes. 

            I’ve been told to do this before. Time and time again. 

            The cold water feels good against my face. I turn off the faucet but forget the towel. The drops against my shirt remind me of the ocean where I found her, the waters we escaped from, the place where I captured her heart. 

            The fire is coming, but we’ll outrun it. We’ll never be undone. 

            Like dripping beads, my promises disappear on the ground. I couldn’t run with her. And I couldn’t stop us from being undone. 

            I leave the light on as I go and search for my keys. I have to find her. I have to figure out how to stop everything, or at least stop them.  

            Maybe I can help rescue her again. 

            Or maybe she can finally rescue me.