Remember when I drove behind you, and when you turned right, and I had to turn left? I watched your white ute escape the corner of my eye.
When you met me in Canberra for a Bush Dance, holding onto me wherever we went. I didn’t want to dance, but you grabbed my hand and pulled me into the sweaty crowd. We muddled our way through the moves, laughing. Then holding your VB can and leaning onto my shoulder to tell me you loved me.
Remember when we stood over the mist, and you explained what was below the gray, asked me to imagine where the buildings were and where you spent your days, you had your hands safely on my waist.
Remember waking up in the cottage, looking out as the sun poured in, over the pond. You would make me instant coffee, with honey, no milk.
When we were laying on my bed, and then you told me you already had someone in your life, the fear in your eyes and the worry of what that would do to me. You were ready to catch me in my sadness, and yours.
Remember when I met your other half for the first time. We sat in couches, and spoke of books we had read, and had a platter of cheese and sparkling wine. He was an intelligent, gentle and handsome man. Then we said goodnight to him, and we went to bed.
When I played that song, and you would burst into tears and hold me tight. Every time it played, you would do the same thing. “Its a Better Place Since You Came Along”, the words telling me that this is what you wanted. Me.
Remember when we would call each other, throughout the day. You would be eating tuna and crackers, I would be walking by the sea. I would learn about your customers, you would learn about my work. And he would be in the background, working beside you.
When we would talk of getting a house in the country. My own room to write in, and have a view of the world outside, sat at the beautiful old roll top antique desk you bought me. I still have the key for it, I wanted to return it. He said not to.
Remember the smell of the old Volvo, as we drove across the outback in the heat, no air conditioning. We had to shout to hear each other, the windows open, Adelaide panting on the backseat. I would take your hand, and I wouldn’t feel you grip mine.
When I said I would fly home, I couldn’t find you. You stood before me on the beach, but you weren’t there. You drove me to the airport and let me go home. The next day you drove 800 kilometers to my door, to hold me tight again. You were gradually ripping apart.
Remember surprising me for my birthday? He turned up the door, I said he could stay. Then you came from around the corner, you both brought cheese and sparkling wine again. The following day you remained while he drove up home, and we lay and watched the baking show.
When you text me suddenly, that you weren’t coping. Then went silent. I would call, you wouldn’t answer. I would text, and the man I knew, was overgrown by the silence.
Remember when I drove to a hotel near you, in the storm. I waited while the late news played in the background. All the power went out, I could see your headlights out on the road, as they came near. The gravel moved out of your way, the wind blowing inside as I watched your dark figure walk towards me. I couldn’t see your face, you couldn’t see mine. But I felt your sadness, you felt mine. We kept each other warm that night, as you let me in and talked for the final time.
Then we had no more talk of country living, or of tuna or customers. You went back inside the man I lost, and then when he nudged you, we spoke on the phone nine months since we met. You told me I deserved more, I nodded, I did. The call ended, and the ringing in my ears is the silence that stayed with me.