The door was closed shut. The rain outside skipped over the leaves and the cobblestone. The wind whispered between the buildings and the trees. Winter was arriving, at last.
Inside, the tea was hot and the books were pilling on the bed. My eyes were drowsy and so was my mind. But the tea was still hot and the books were waiting patiently.
I looked out the window, hoping to see anything different or differently, even. The street seemed the same, except the sidewalks and the road were covered in yellow and orange leaves and glistening wet.
A year had gone by in an instant. But a heart never forgets. The scars from harder beats lined the tiny organ like a web and the veins and arteries still reeled from all the necessary action. The brain never forgets, either. All the electricity exchanged, all the commands made to an obstinate body.
But the tea was hot and the books were spread on the bed. And the heart and brain had to let go of all they ever experienced. For moments, hours, even days.
I had changed. And I realized just how much when I glanced at the tea cup and the books. I didn’t need anything else.
If you were planning to return, I didn’t know. Much less how. I only knew I didn’t need it. I could live without it.
(Did all this hurt? Sure, it did. It bit my heart with hungry teeth, it crushed my brain with dirty nails. It was a colder feeling than that outside, at the moment.)
All I wanted was dead flowers.
Dead flowers to let me know you are alive.
Dead flowers to tell me what you truly want.
Dead flowers to set between the pages of my books.
Dead flowers to survive the Winter longer than tea.
Dead flowers, the colour of your hair.
The rain poured intensely and the street still was the same. Except that Winter came. And the tea was getting cold and the books were still as they were…