She lay awake, staring at the ceiling again. Those stars, so neatly glued down; right above her place on the bed, in tiny star shapes, she had formed the word “Daddy”.
It had been ten years since he died, and although the sharp pain had subsided into a dull ache in the past five, she was certain it would never completely fade.
She felt her husband stir slightly next to her. She half hoped he would awaken so he could hold her while she cried, but the other half of her wished desperately to not have the desire to cry. To not need anyone to comfort her. To not need comforting most of all.
She turned on her side, buried her face in her pillow and let loose the tears. “Daddy,” she gasped and heaved, feeling slightly better for having cried. She felt a hand rubbing her back and realized her husband had awakened, but felt no better for having disturbed his sleep. She turned around and continued crying into his shoulder, as she had ten years prior. He soothed with his hand rubbing her back, the other hand smoothing her hair down. No words were said; simple silence was all she demanded and all he gave.
As they fell back asleep entwined in each others’ arms, her thoughts continued to wander.
Back ten years exactly, to the day he had died, to what she had been doing when her cel phone rang with bad news. The memory made her cringe, as it always did. She had been out with her friends, drinking heavily and partying hard.
It had been her birthday.
originally written & posted … 2003