Most of the time, I am imagining you are here. The way you were before I sent you away, fingers laced in mine, cradling arm, the radiating heat that made you real. And most of the time, that is enough. I feel calm, untouchable, in a sea of uncertainty and anxiety. Until, like a well-read book, the pages bend, the ink smudges, and the spine gets lined and crinkled. I call for you again, to let you reinvent my memory. And then I disappear.
This is the secret I cannot tell you. If I was brave, I would put my hands out, empty but open, and tell you that I would rather not imagine the closeness anymore. That recollection cannot replace the way you burn up against me.
But I am not brave. I am shackled by the familiar sensation of falling, and the fear that you will not catch me, erasing every dream I am holding so closely, so quietly. Worse still, I am shadowed by the doubt that if you held me, I would see myself withered and choked away, and on a whim, disappear for good.