“The Other Side That Awaits”
A Short Story
I knew the crossroads were there before me. But I always had the most difficult time coming to grips with them.
Autumn had turned a bit nasty. The calendar showed October, but it felt of January.
I wasn’t sure where I had laid my winter gloves.
I’m in the mood for coffee this early morning. But I don’t want the coffee I prepare. I want the coffee that the shy guy at the morning pub prepares whenever I happen upon the local cafe.
I’m lost this morning. I can’t find a way to make the morning work. It’s all a mess of dread, of sadness, of loneliness.
But I must move forward…or so my loved ones tell me.
It has been a bittersweet life so far.
I’m only 50 years old, yet feel like I’m 90.
The days, the weeks, the years of the past 50 are behind me, yet how I cling to them.
He was with me each day, each week, each year. He was good to me – with a goodness that I still can’t comprehend.
It all is a whirlwind. Relatives I hadn’t seen in years, sharing stories of the man I loved whom I thought I knew, but apparently never did.
Who was this man? This man I slept with, wept with, laughed with for the past 25 years?
He prodded me toward myself. He teased me unmercifully. He loved me like no other, and yet, now he is gone.
I wasn’t prepared for this. I thought we would always be as we were.
It is the first day after the day where I set his soul free.
All the condolences, all the sadness from those sending him off before he should have left us – they knew him – but in a different way of knowing him – one I couldn’t quite fathom.
He was complex, yet beloved. He was aloof, but genuinely in tune. He loved me in a complete way, in a way that I will never forget – yet in a way that I had sometimes had difficulty accepting – for I always had a hard time understanding those who loved me as I was.
And as this day, maybe the worst day of all – the day after – where I’ve laid to rest my love, of whom I have shared all of me with, shared my body with, shared my deepest worries, hopes and fears with – and all my love with…I hold hope that he will be there waiting for me on the other side, on the day when I take my leave of this madness, and can once again hold to all that is dear to me, all that is of me…on the other side that awaits.
Tonight’s musical offering:
Sir Colin Davis – Edward Elgar – ‘Enigma Variations’ – Variation IX (Adagio) – “Nimrod”