We would have held hands.
We would have had baths. With bubbles covering our tempting bits.
We would have shared coy looks and knowing smiles. And made sweet, tender love on a sunlit-streamed bed.
We would have walked in the rain. And laughed and sung out of tune. And laughed again.
We would have ridden bicycles with baskets. And streamers if I would’ve had my way.
I would have.
We would have gone to farmers’ and flea markets and chatted with old men boasting old stories and new wrinkles.
We would have baked cookies at midnight and licked crumbs off our fingers.
We would have kissed from one moon to the next and slept under the stars. We would have liked both a lot.
We would have huddled close together by a crackling fire, the wood smoke stinging our eyes and cloaking our coats.
We would have leaned in to each other against the weight of the world and our leaning would have made everything lighter.
We would have been honest with each other. And appreciative. And kind.
We would have been goofy and animated and outrageous when no one was looking. And sometimes when they were.
And we would have recounted our tales and our travesties while laying in each others’ arms and been comforted by the fragrance of each other’s familiar scent.
We would have read books in bed and out loud. And you would have taken off your glasses to look at me. And that would have made my heart happy.
We would have made formidable plans and you would have had great ideas and I’d have had great color-coded spreadsheets.
And we would have laughed more. Always there would have been laughter.
And lightness. And being.
We would have taken spontaneous road trips with freedom in our feet and filled our lungs with creation amazed at Nature’s Wonders.
We would have walked in the woods, autumn pine needles pungent in our nostrils; the sharp snap of dry twigs under foot.
We would have touched the bark of the Fir trees and let our eyes mist for their beauty. And the fallen.
We would have sat by fresh springs in silent reverence.
We would have stood up for each other. And maybe something greater.
And we would have felt time slipping by with missing moments and tried to hold on with gripping hearts.
From time to time, we would have noticed our physical changes. Not ugly. Not bad. Just that reminder of time.
We would have taken up new hobbies to try to stay young and met with old friends to reminisce of past times.
We would have run out of things to say and maybe felt restless. Maybe disconnected. But we would have known this too shall pass. And it would have.
We would have lived a lifetime and felt it as less than a moment.
We would have taken notice of each others’ habits and preferences and I would have long ago learned to place out your favourite coffee mug with aged, trembling hand.
And you would have brought home flowering weeds in delicate bouquets and touched my face with tenderness, not seeing the creases that would have formed.
We would have gazed at each other in a moment like this, with eyes expressing fear, and tender love.
We would have made love less but held each other more.
And then one day the sun would have set heavily on our heart replaced with skies lain low like a wet, wool blanket, only memories memories memories left of walking hand in hand, sloshing and wet and wild and juvenile and joyous. And laughing.
Now just one, alone on cold sheets, listening to the drone of the rain on the roof and speaking aloud to the other as though still there. Sinking under a collapsing chest of profound emptiness, surrounded by thunderous silence.
And grieving quietly and violently, feeling eternity meaningless remaining.
Until the morning birds’ started song again, less shrill in our ear.
“Wake up! Get up! Live.”
With determined breath, we would have picked ourselves up. Because that’s what the other would have wanted.
If I died today, I wanted you to know.
We would have been happy.
This was half written, and I was half waiting…
Until inspired by this beautiful piece by Emily Bracken. (I bow to you.)
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editor: Travis May