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Untitled XI

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I had a dream about you today. It was a long and winding stairwell of memories still stuck on my mind. Instead of waking up in a panic, I lay still and let the images float to the fore, holding on to the threads of what I could recall so I could make you stay a little longer. I walked into the shower and played back the image of you lying next to me, bleeding, dying. It’s the same dream, only less terrifying now. It no longer scares me to think of you, to picture you, this way. I let the hot water wash over my back as I rested my head against the wall and closed my eyes so I would see the new image I have made up of you. I do not picture your face, but I feel you more closely. I want to count this as progress, to mark it on my calendar, and call up my old counselor to tell her that I am finally cured. Yet I know how grief works a little to well to celebrate too quickly. Because in six months or a year or a decade, I could wake up sweating and screaming and recounting what really happened to you the one time I could not be there to protect you. Then, in that moment of terror, I will think nothing of how things turned out today.

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