The International Writers Magazine
Loving and Leaving

Loving and Leaving
Aby Davis

To one of the lost

The night you left I had been to the theatre. The bus I came home on probably passed you, as you were on your way out. I sometimes think, perhaps If I'd looked out of the window, peered into the darkness that blurred past......I might have seen you.

I might have been able to stop you, or been too late. When I got into the house I looked for you. I kicked off my shoes and pushed open doors. You weren't there. There was a late film on channel four. A romantic comedy, I watched that, but my mind wasn't on the romance and nothing about the film made me want to laugh. I was thinking of you. I was thinking of you when my sister rang. She hadn't seen you either, I curled up bare footed and stared at the cushion next to me, the place you'd sit in the evenings. I don't know how long I sat there, but the television noise muffled into the background and I stared into the air in front of it. I couldn't help thinking, wondering why you'd gone. The hour was a late one, and my thoughts were wandering erratically, as thoughts do when the reasoning of day evaporates into unforgiving night . The morning before I scorned you for a present you left me. I hated you waking me up with it. You wanted my attention, you wanted my love, you wanted me. I wanted to sleep. Now, I want you to know that I loved you really. The way you looked at me first thing in the morning, the way you liked me to tickle you just there, the way you were always getting into fights with the neighbours. It irritated me then, I would hear your voice raised, and you would come back to me all edgy. But you always came back. I used to think you wouldn't. You were so accident prone! A blue plaster cast covered your leg one time, the way you tried to hide it and walked with a reluctant limp made me smile. A lot of the things you did made me smile. I liked the way you ate, the way you fell asleep next to me, as close as you could get.

I asked the neighbours if they'd seen you. The man said no, and he was glad of it. I expect you would have liked that.

A few days passed and someone told me they'd seen you. They didn't like to break the news at first, but it was written all over their face. You didn't stand a chance. As I came home that evening, I walked the way around the side of the house. The way you did. I saw the wall you walked on, the gate you scratched against, the grass that tickled your nose. I opened the door and the cat flap flapped. The way it used to. I did love you, even though I hated the way you'd try to distract me from my work. Or fight with me over the paper. I hated the fights with everything that moved, and the battles you won. (the entrails left in the living room were horrible, and I dreaded coming down barefooted in the morning). My dad built new decking for the garden, the day afterwards you had a disagreement on it with something. You left blood all over the new wood.

I miss your face, you handsome black and white face with those wide, wide eyes that hid nothing.
The night you left I was coming home from the theatre. I was later than I said I would be and you weren't there. I fell asleep to the sound of laughing couples and thought I could hear you purring.

© Aby Davis December 2006

Abi is studying Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth

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