I wake up in the morning, and even though it's summer I'm cold because I'm not supposed to be alone in this bed. It's been over a month, and it's understood because, after all, I've shared a bed for years, except it's not him that I miss.
Work is pure torture. Like walking into a memorial, everything reminds me of you. I sit at my desk and the first thing I see is not my computer screen or the dozen Post -It notes full of meaningless scribble. It's the yogurt lid hanging on its paper clip chain from my desk lamp. I pick it up, remembering that day. You had said something about Phyllis coming alive, but it was you who was full of life, and it was downright contagious.
I look around the faces in the office and it's like looking at the shades of gray personified. Dwight's wearing an eye patch "In honor of Pirates 2 opening today," and I want to cry because you're not here to laugh with me. Even Michael seems empty somehow. Something's missing and everyone feels it, but no one wants to say it, while I feel like screaming it.
I try to eat my yogurt for lunch, but then I can't finish it because I remember you said mixed berry was my favorite, and I've lost my appetite. I know better than to even try for the bag of Sunchips (French onion) sitting on the edge of my desk next to the yogurt medal and I can't take my eyes off that crinkled aluminum until I realize my break is over.
I gather the outgoing mail and as I weigh them on the postal scale in the back room I wonder how much it would cost to send my heart to Stamford. I return to my desk and stumble on my way there because I have to close my eyes as I walk past that spot where my life was turned upside down. The silence of staplers, keyboards, papers, and phones blend into a hypnotic chant intent on driving me insane.
It's five o'clock and I race out the door and then realize I don't really want to be in that empty apartment either. I know where I'd rather be, but let's face it, I'm just not that courageous. I open the front door and walk straight into the kitchen because I haven't eaten all day. I don't bother cooking anymore; preparing dinner for one just seems pointless. I throw a microwave dinner into the oven and as I wait for the "ding," I notice the smell again. I look over to the window above the sink at the vase of moldy flowers sitting on the windowsill. Flowers my mother sent on what would have been the biggest day of my life (as weddings should be). The blossoms are wilted and dead and have been for weeks, but I can't bring myself to throw them away. In a weird way, they feel like they belong right where they are, pungent odor and all.
The microwave beeps at me, and I realize I added one too many zeros to the timer, so I throw away the burnt tray of overcooked mush. Again I have no appetite, and even though the sun hasn't even set, I head off to bed. I put on my flannel PJs turn down my bed sheets and surround myself with pillows and pretend I'm surrounded by you. The pressure that has been building behind my eyes is finally released as the tears fall silently down my face.
It's July 7. Forty-two days since you left. Multiply that date by that many days and it's number of times I missed you today.
It's not getting any easier.