Today I played a game of make-believe, much as I did during childhood. I think it is something we all do at some point. Perhaps not when we are nearing fifty, but at some point in life—we play the game either to escape reality or simply to enhance reality. Every month I sink into a pit of self-pity around the fourteenth through the twenty-second. For me, they are dates signifying the end of happiness, future, and the beginning of loss. I steel myself to those days each month until it culminates into the inevitable annual anniversary of my love’s death. Those days are the darkest—December 14 through Christmas—my days of darkness—a “Long December.” But in my December, “there’s [no] reason to believe . . . this year will be better than the last” (Vickrey, et al. ~Counting Crows~).

My game of make-believe did not include princess tiaras or dress-up, but rather pretending that he sat in his usual spot while I stood in front of the oven stirring soup. I turned toward his chair talking to the air as though he were sitting there. Perhaps he was because I could see his smile. We laughed. Our conversation lasted only for a moment, and then I sank to the floor as I realized it was not real—it was only make-believe. He will never sit in his chair again. I will never hear his laughter again. I will never see his smile again. We will never be together again. All those thoughts hit me with full force. I stayed on my knees with my head in my hands sobbing.



© Relinda R.


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