sometimes i awake suddenly in a strange bed in a strange country, my eyes blinking open, all traces of sleep gone in an instance. often, it would be too early, too long before dawn, closer to midnight than sunrise. i would close my eyes again, forcefully but they would still see things, memories and moments i try very hard to forget but at the same time, did not want to let go. i would toss and turn for hours, but sleep would already be long lost to me. all that is left is the weight of a weary soul, and it is heavy indeed, heavy on the heart, heavy in the throat.
when the first strand of light slips through the sky's clouds and my curtains, i get up. i pull on a coat, warm like your embrace and throw on a scarf, heavy like your arm slung over my shoulders. i walk out the door and the cold reminds me of you, of how you shiver in a room that could make me sweat, how you wrap yourself in layers of thick silk covers while i lie exposed above the sheets. Here, it is much worse, the wind bites and snaps at your ears, your cheeks, your fingers.
i walk down to a cafe. the bell tinkles. the man looks up. i order a cup of hot chocolate. there is coffee, but we were never really coffee people and there is english tea, but we only drink chinese or japanese, plain, without milk or sugar. i think of the brown, tea-stained mug that always sits on your desk and of the green cup of green tea that accompanies my study nights. i remember how different people thought we were until they saw us together, bantering, eating, talking. we are alike in all the ways that matter.
i watch the snow fall, lightly, gently and i wish you were here. i pull out my phone and pull up a picture of us, all smiles and silly faces. i stare at your number, adding our country code before it but i don't press call, i don't type a text. it is easier this way. i put my face in my hands. they are warm from holding the hot mug, and my tears, when they come, burns even more.
//shower thoughts, scary thoughts.