It doesn’t hurt if you don’t think about it.

By Emmanuel Yuan
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“Good morning.” She murmured, her sweet breath hot against my cheek.

I opened my eyes. Her hums echoed along the corridor, blurring the line between dreams and reality. It was still dark, but hues of purple have already begun to stain the sky. I turned and drifted off to slumber once more, seeking solace from the cold in her lingering warmth.

 

“You’re going to be late.” She smiled down at me. Her eyes sparkled with mischief. It was the same mischief I fell in love with, infused with her quirks. She was beautiful to me, and the morning light accentuated her contours. She ran her fingers through my hair as she rested my head in her lap.

“For what?” My sleepy eyes did not stop me from admiring the view. I raised a hand to touch her, but I could not reach her. My heart skipped a beat as she drew closer to me. She traced a heart on my forehead.

“Perhaps it’s better if you don’t go.” She murmured. Her face darkened, and the world seemed a little drearier.

She kissed me. “I will always love you. You know that, don’t you?”

I nodded. “And I-“

She pressed a finger to my mouth. A familiar melody began to play. “I know.” She smiled at me as tears began to roll down her cheeks, splashing upon mine. “What’s wrong?” I tried to say, but I couldn’t make a sound. Her tears fell faster and heavier, drowning me slowly. She cried freely, all traces of her smile gone. The music grew louder. I took a deep breath as my face was submerged, leaving me with nothing but a distorted view of her. And then, as the music reached a climax, that too faded away.

 

I woke up on her side of the bed, my phone screaming across the room. Her scent soothed me, and for a moment I was tempted to ignore it. But something compelled me to pick it up.

“Perhaps it’s better if you don’t go.” Her words echo in my mind. I hesitated for a moment, then brushed it aside. I was not yet delusional enough to believe in a dream.

“Hello?”

“Where are you?” A voice hissed through the speaker. “Her service is about to begin.”

“Service?”

The voice fell silent. When it spoke again, it was cold.

“She loved you. If that means anything to you at all, if you want to maintain any shred of respect I have for you, you will be here before her cremation.”

It paused.

“I hope you’ll make it.”

I was left listening to the dial tone.

 

After a few moments of silence, I crawled back into bed. I curled up on her side and, taking in a deep breath of her scent, I drifted back to sleep.

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