Dearest Rachel –
This letter is going to be shorter than most, more’s the pity. But I have to move fast and thank you before the sandcastle in my mind loses shape and collapses.
Yes, I said thank you. I’ve complained before some times about how Daniel claims to have seen you in his dreams, and I don’t. But you were there for me this morning, and although I don’t remember anything that you said, just the fact that you were there was good enough for me.
You were dressed for summer, which is to say you were in your swimsuit. I think it was the purple and white speckled one – and before you argue that this description doesn’t narrow things down, remember that you did have a lot of not-purple swimwear.
Honestly, I think you were unaware of having been gone. But maybe you suspected something when I held you as tight as I did, and kissed you – all over. I mean, we were always affectionate, but I’m pretty sure this level was unusual, even for me. All I know is that you didn’t seem to have any problem with it, and were more than happy to reciprocate.
We may have been outside at one point or another – I think was more like our backyard than, say, any beach. What I do remember was that at some point we were walking into a bookstore. None that I can remember from real life, nor can I describe very well at this point, but I do vaguely recall the fairly middle-aged lady – who I can only assume was the proprietor – greeting us like she knew us. And I recall the aisles of books bending and curving with eldritch geometry. Weirdest of all was an explosion that went off upstairs while we were at the bookstore, which we took notice of, but were unfazed, as it seemed to be a regular occurrence.
Dreams. Go figure.
All the while, you and I were wandering through the place arm in arm, with all the joy and enthusiasm of kids in a candy store.
And then it slowly faded, and I woke up.
I won’t say, like the song, that “I hung my head and cried,” Because the first thing that occurred to me to do was to grab this phone and write to you about it. It’s only now, but I’m trying to relate this to you, but I’m finding it hard to get the words out, or even maintain my composure. The more and longer I think about it (and I have to think hard, in order to recall what I can before it fades), the more painful it gets.
But at least I’ve managed to get it written down, so now I can calm down enough to just say ‘thank you.’ Thank you for visiting me, while I struggle to deal with your absence. Thank you for the many years memories you left me with, no matter how painful they are in retrospect. Thank you for the image of you seared into my memory, allowing me to call you up vivid color – you know, I thought they said we always dream in black-and-white. Thank you for being so fond of my kisses that my reaction upon seeing you didn’t faze you.
Just… thank you, darling, for having been there for me.
And I hope that I’ll see you again soon.
Until then, I remain yours