We’re not the same.
I can’t for the life of me think why. I still feel the same; I don’t treat you any different. I still love you more than anyone else in the world.
I want it to be how it used to be. Laughing, cuddling, talking. I’m scared I’ve done something wrong. Why can’t you even look at me like you used to do? Now all I get is a quick glance. It’s been like this for a few days now. I touch you and you don’t push me away but I can tell it’s not the same. We could lie there for hours before. Tangled up with blankets, reading, drinking tea, just snoozing. You would put your head on my chest and listen. My heartbeat made you happy, you said. As long as you could listen to my heartbeat you would never need any other noise in the world, you said. I must admit I never found it the most comfortable, especially when you fell asleep and your head doubled in weight.
It didn’t matter though, I could feel more. Like the love of the entire world was resting on me. Seeping into me and melting with my love for you. Communicating through our pulses. It would overwhelm me and I would get frustrated when I couldn’t express properly how you are my everything.
I sit here now and look at you pottering around the kitchen. Cupboards and drawers opening and shutting, you sorting everything, dancing to the radio. Your hayfever must be bad because you keep blowing your nose in that ever-so ladylike way that wakes me from my nod. Your eyes are red but are beautiful. Those eyes that have said so much to me. They have kept me safe. Do you remember when you used to wink at me? Our secret code. I would wink back and you would change eyes to try and trick me. Silly but it made you laugh so much.
Your eyes are sad now. It scares me.
I want to go to the beach. You are always happy there. We would run for what seemed miles, time stood still. I would never go near the sea, my irrational fear made you laugh and you would make a point of going as far out as you could without getting your clothes wet just to wave at me while I stood there watching you in awe. We would sit and have soup out of plastic tubs. You would read while I wandered off but there wasn’t a minute we let each other out of our sight. That invisible cord that kept us together even when we were apart. It’s never left me. I feel your sadness and there is a desperate feeling inside me. I don’t know what to do. I would do anything, give anything to get to the cause of your unhappiness. Every one of my cells has you in them and they are all getting more and more defeated.
I look at the photos all around the house. Rarely are we together in them. Is that a sign? Should I have noticed that long ago? I know I have got you mad before but we have always got through the hard times. We never could stay angry at each other for long. Just a look was enough to know it is all OK. You would pretend to be mad but I could always make you smile by squirming my way onto the couch next to you, so close you have no option but to let me in.
We have to go out now. You drive, of course. I love going out with you in the car, I watch you and you don’t notice. You squint and push your glasses further up your nose without knowing. You sing along to the radio, stop halfway and change to another station until you find something that feels right. There is no radio on today. It’s not long before we pull up in the car park. I struggle to get out of the car but you help. You always help. I don’t know what I would do without you. We walk for a while and you stop to hug me. I love you. Then we turn into the vets.