I Wish You Were Here

Dear Beloved,

I wish you were here.


I’m feeling so overwhelmingly lonely and alone right now, I could almost wish anyone were here, except I know better than that. I’ve learned, the hard way, that there are some people I could not endure in this moment. Then there are the majority of people, whom I could rise to the occasion to meet, greet, pretend cheerfulness, etc. I would listen to their problems and struggle to focus on them enough to find some way to help them, knowing that even just listening is often helpful. I might even feel better for a while, focusing on them, forgetting myself. Then they would leave, and the isolation would come flooding in again. I’m trying to learn how to live with it. It is like trying to learn how to breathe underwater. Somedays I think I manage well. Today, however…

I wish you were here. Really. There’s no one else I need or want – just you.

If you were here, I don’t even know if I would want to talk with you. I’m writing because there is no other way to reach you right now, but I wish there weren’t even the space of words between us.

If you were here, I would just run to you. I would wrap my arms around your wide, strong chest. I would bury my face in the crook between your shoulder and your neck, where I can breathe you in to refresh my soul. I would silently beg for you to fold me into you and just hold me. Hold me, please! I want the scent of you surrounding me. I want the touch of you against my skin, reassuring me that you are real, and solid, and here.

I know just the look you would give me – the confused frown – as you stand there, awkwardly, having no clue what to do with your arms, half-tempted to turn and run away. You would be staring down at the top of my head, wondering who this was pressing against you, and what had I done with the cheerful chatterbox you had expected to see. I would feel you shift your weight from foot to foot, until it finally occurred to you to hug me. Why did it take you so long?

“What’s the matter, Aylya?” you ask. Your deep, resonate bass rumbles gently into me. I feel it inside my chest, caressing my heart, soothing me.

I don’t want to answer. I don’t want you to hear the tears in my voice. I don’t want you to witness all my weaknesses, my fears. I just want to find my safe place, in your arms, where I am not so totally alone – the space where I can breathe again, until I can find my strength to return to my isolation. It’s O.K. if you talk, Beloved. I love hearing your voice! Just, please, don’t ask me anything.

That’s not fair. I know it.

“I miss you,” I force myself to say.

“I’m right here,” you answer, perplexed.

I nod, wanting to believe it. I want to feel safe with you. I want to know you won’t disappear. I want you to be real and really with me. I’m being quite unreasonable…but can I just steal this one moment, for as long as it will last?

One last breath, filled with the salt, cedar tang of your sweat and soap. One last brush of your large hand, pressing me gently between my shoulders. Your other hand reaches for my chin, wanting to lift my face so you can look into my eyes. You want a real connection with me, soul to soul. So do I. But when I look up, seeking it, daring to reveal to you my tear-stained face, you’re gone.

Beloved! Did it have to end so soon? I sweep the empty room with my gaze, struggling to draw air through the isolation. There is nothing to breathe. It is a suffocation of silence.

I wish you were here.