Does Jeff see her too? LM frowned. Not too likely. If he could see her, he’d be reacting to her. He’d be looking at her. He wouldn’t be facing away from her. I know that much for sure.
LM sat down on his seat. Without meaning to, without even fully thinking about it, he waited.
But no one touched him.
His feathers bristled. Capernaum’s gone. He won’t come back. I know he won’t come back. He’s gone for good. So, why do I keep expecting him to come back? How does that make sense? It doesn’t. It doesn’t make any sense and I hate that it doesn’t make sense.
I hate that he isn’t here.
I miss him. He flattened his feathers. When does it stop? When does all of the missing go away?
Laura stayed with Jeff a few minutes longer before disappearing.
And what am I supposed to do in the meantime? Just keep thinking ‘If only Capernaum was here’ 356,000 times a day? Just keep waiting for him to show up? Just keep listening for the sound of his voice and the touch of his hand and the knowledge that all is well because he is here?
Jeff leaned his head back and sighed.
“Well. I know I can’t ask Jeff. He’s missing Laura the way I miss Capernaum. He won’t be ANY help.” LM picked up his “Little Women” book and flipped to the first chapter. He read the first line under his breath.
It didn’t matter how many times he read it. That first line was like magic. It was a promise that while things weren’t so good at the moment, watch out, March girls! Things were going to get better.
He thought about Capernaum.
He thought about Kalyla’s advice. “I need to take it one line at a time. And I will wind up drawing a whole, beautiful mountain.”
I will find peace.
She gives me peace. She doesn’t need to speak. All she needs to do is touch me and my world is complete. Jeff opened his eyes. He contemplated the light and darkness on the ceiling. Darkness and light. Life and death. Which is which?
He let his mind go still.
No words. No thoughts.
Silence. Just silence.
But the silence was incomplete. LM flipped pages over by the window. Distant monitors beeped. Some monitor alarms blared. Maybe there was a kink in those monitors’ cords. Maybe something serious was going on with those patients. Jeff didn’t know. He had no way of knowing.
People walked up and down the halls in muted conversations. Someone laughed. Someone cried.
Outside, a car alarm went hysterical. Maybe someone was trying to break into that car. Or maybe a overly tired doctor had accidently bumped into it.
A police car wailed somewhere in the distance.
I’ve held onto Laura for so long, for so many years, because I can’t let her go. The thought of living without her invisible touch…It hurts. It would be like she died all over again. But.
He focused on the dividing line between the light and the dark on the ceiling.
Maybe I should.
Maybe I should let her go. I don’t want to. But.
It was such a thin line.
I need to. Most important of all, she needs me to. But how do I say “You’re free to go. I’ll be fine.” with any conviction? My Laura. My Laura girl, you know me so well. You would know the truth. You would know I’m not ready to say that last good-bye. But I can’t keep you here indefinitely.
The line blurred into a chasm with ill-defined edges.
Jeff rubbed his tears away before they could fall. “Laura? Give me one more day and one more night. Then.”
Then, I will let you leave me.
I’ll let you leave me…for good.