I met him in the dark.
He still looked the same,
caught in time,
forever thirty-five years old.
He looked up at me,
a half smile on his face.
“You came,” he said.
“You remembered me. You didn’t forget.”
I looked down at him.
“This year, it was hard not to remember you,” I told him.
Indeed, this year had tested me
and I had to remind myself
where I had started,
when this all began,
so that I could find a way forwards.
“Why?” he asked.
“Why was it easy to remember this year?”
I thought of how to respond to myself,
that part of me that was still trapped inside myself,
a spirit within that had no way out.
“That doesn’t matter now,” I told him.
“I just had to see you.”
I held his hand,
remembering how weak I had been,
how I hadn’t been able to do anything
but sleep, the constant sleep
that was anything but restful.
I could see the stories and the words
that had been floating above my head,
unable to find a way out of me.
Looking down at myself
from all those years ago,
I knew that I had to let that part of me go
as I didn’t want to hang on
to that part of me anymore
or the fear that I had felt back then.
There was so much fear in our lives.
I didn’t need to hold on to more.
“I came to let you go,” I told him, myself.
There was fear in his eyes.
“Where will I go?” He asked.
“What will become of me?”
I took his hand, my hand,
and gave it a gentle squeeze.
“You’ve already gone on to do so much,” I said.
“You’ve lived a whole lifetime in eight years.” I told him.
Gently, I said “I can’t hold on to you anymore.”
I didn’t know how to tell him
about the self love that began to grow within us,
blooming inside of us like a seed of light.
Knowing myself as I did,
I knew that he wouldn’t believe me.
Hopefully he understood
that letting him go
was its own act of love.
He looked up at me,
a true smile on his face.
“Thank you,” he said. “Thank you so much.”
There were tears falling from his, from my, eyes.
“I’ve been in the dark for so long. It’ll be good to see the light.”
I merely nodded,
not trusting myself to speak.
I watched as he slowly began to fade away,
a memory preserved in my flesh for eight years too long.
Before he disappeared,
there was a sigh as if he too were letting go.
Looking at the space where he, where I, had lain,
I stood and walked back out of the darkness
and into the light again.