First thing in the morning was never good. The place was silent and absent of activity apart from the faint humming of the fridge and the distant noise of neighbours going about their business. He took a small glass of water and let the tap run and spill into the mug she had used a few days before. As it filled, memories of her flooded into his mind of a time when he felt sated by life. Not that the memories ever left, they plagued him, but occasionally something he saw would bring a fresh reminder. He took a deep breath and released it slowly through his full lips and wandered over to the table to collect his cigarettes. The table cloth still bore the collage of late nights and long talks. Splashes of martini gin cocktails; pale red candle wax, melted and hardened into heart shapes; crumbs and spillages from shared platters. He recalled how her hair fell around her face as she sat next to him at the table. He’d moved it gently away and slowly traced her jawline with his hand. The soft kisses they shared and their intertwined fingers. More being spoken through the eyes than with words; a new kind of language. She was a far cry from others he’d met. He didn’t want to just take her or fuck her; he wanted to know her, deeply; explore her slowly. Finding a new level of respect for a woman that made him want to be careful with her. He had explained to her that she was different. She seemed to take that as a slight rather than the compliment it was. Opening the patio doors, he sat on the steps and looked out to the sky over the terrace as he lit his cigarette. The burning at the back of his throat from the first draw momentarily more rasping than the loneliness. His spare hand ran across his unshaven chin and to the back of his neck which felt tight from a fitful nights sleep. Searching for her in the bed in the dark, early mornings only to find an empty space that mocked him with her lingering scent on the sheets. Now, with his head bent forward, caressing his sore neck muscles, he could smell the the aroma of her faded perfume on his jumper. The one she had pulled on to her to keep warm as they had sat on the same patio step, looking at the night sky.
The sky now was grey and cloudy and the wind flew hard in the tall trees. Blowing dents in his dreams and emphasising the impossibilities and life’s complications. When she was here there were none; the rest of the world closed and everything was safe and beautiful. But now she was gone, as quick as the wind that danced and scarpered outside.