One Perfect Night
Halloween was always our favourite celebration, Jess, until you left to go on what you called your ‘Grand Adventure’. A place where even a long-distance relationship won’t work. Now, it’s just another celebration that I get to celebrate alone. I still do though.
I went looking for pumpkins yesterday. Found one at a local farmhouse. The perfect one. It’s sitting in the middle of the kitchen table, waiting for work to commence. With great care and precision, I carve the perfect face. I drew the design on a piece of paper weeks ago – always the planner. I wish you could see it, Jess.
I’m done now and place the tea-light inside. I don’t light it yet. It isn’t time. I pack it all in the car, together with a mini picnic of coffee in a travel mug and our favourite candies, grab my warmest hoodie and drive to what I call our ‘Special Place’.
It doesn’t take long. I sit on the cold ground, light the tea-light and lean back against the stone to admire my creation. I close my eyes. “Hope you like it, Jess.”
“I love it.” A whisper on the wind. “It’s your best one yet.”
My eyes snap open and you’re there, right before me, wearing the familiar goofy smile. “You’re here,” I splutter.
“Well, of course I am, I’m always here.”
“I miss you so much.” I wipe angrily at a tear – can’t cry now.
“I know you do Alec, but it’s been ten years. I don’t know many seventeen year old boys who would have stuck with their girlfriend through to leukaemia’s bitter end. But you did, and I’m so grateful. You need to let me go now. It’s time to move on.”
“I don’t know if I can. It hurts so much not having you in my life.”
“I know,” you say, “but it’s hurting me to stay. As long as you hang on to me, I can’t let go. I’ve seen things here. I’m afraid of what I could become. One last night?”
I smile and bravely nod.
One last perfect night.