When a person goes missing, somebody is bound to notice.
“I killed him,” I always told people when they found out. “Not literally! Metaphorically,” Amber was quick to add when the eyes grew wide and the silence palpable. Soon the discussion would refocus on a different topic, with Amber clutching my hand too hard to shush me up.
I didn’t think it made a difference: his absence felt the same to me. It filled me up. His death didn’t eat at me the way the silence did.
What is a metaphor? That it must have hurt beastly when I stuck the knife into his chest four times? The steel gnawed into him and it was so silent, the gushing blood. Surprised me. I would have thought he would be louder overall, more spiteful. The turning point was casual and quick, his large eyes staring at me in the dim light next to the bed. I should have waited for daylight maybe, for him to be awake. To witness. I always needed witnesses for us. Then I had run out of people to talk to about him.
Some had chosen Amber’s side, as if he had anything to do with us. Others simply grew restless and bored with the story of nothing. What is bleakness? Each morning staring at empty inboxes. Each mango soda drunk on the beach surrounded by beach ball throwing college students. Each cold caught after sitting too close to the air conditioning in the economics library. A brief history of avoidance.
He must have had family but the newspapers said nothing. I heard nothing from the police either. When I told Amber her eyes grew small, unlike his in death. Tiny eyes asking me to go lie down. “Everything will be okay,” she said and brought me a glass of water. “ I know,” I replied. I made it so.
There are many stories out there now, I sometimes get confused. What is the present? A frantic rush to understand what just was and what will be. Each postcard carefully composed in a brain in different cities, then not sent. This is the present, and this is.
I look into my mailbox and it’s empty. I miss him every day.