[ Writing resumes on This Blog with a response to the Light and Shade http://lightandshadechallenge.blogspot.com">Challenge.]
"It's quite easy, really," she says. We had gone out onto the porch. The night sky was clear, a few stars indistinct behind the glow of the city. I feel like those stars, fading in and out of view.
"I'll be back in 3 months," she says again. It has been a refrain, every time my face closes down in front of her, she reminds me of how little time it really is. August until November. I can't look at her, so I stare up at the sky.
"It's not that long," she says, and I think about how far it is between the planets, and I will myself not to cry. Distances are relative. Time and space dilate at high speeds. I hear the boards of the porch creak as she walks up behind me. She's leaving because she has to go, because its best for her, because it's what she needs to do. Her hands find my waist, and snake across my middle. I cover her hands with my own.
Behind us, the TV is still on, and I hear someone washing a dish in the kitchen. I look at the sky and feel the pain of missing her with every breath she exhales against my back. I miss her, even now, before she's gone.