• TheInkblotJournal

It Goes Like This

Updated: Jun 2, 2019

By Zahraa Aldawood


Every night, it goes like this—


I lay awake on my bed, stuck in those moments where I drift in and out of consciousness, and think of you. Perhaps because I am too tired to push the thought of you away, or because I am too tired to continue pushing the thought of you away.

Every night, it goes like this—


There are short moments of grief, intense and hot, bursting out into flames and engulfing all that’s in their way. Then, there are short moments of desperation, forceful and distressing, consuming my consciousness until I can’t distinguish between the past and the present. Then, there are longer moments of sadness, shy and dejected, hiding in the little crevices and only coming out when I forget they exist. Then, finally, there is the acceptance—the longest moment of them all. Acceptance is quiet yet angry, calm yet helpless. It pushes me in and out of consciousness slowly, like the gentle sway of an old rusty swing in an older park, so that I lose myself in it.

Some nights, it goes like this—


I give up on thinking about the present, so I think about the past, or about the orbits existing outside of this realm where you now reside. Before, you were a thought I persistently pushed away in attempt of getting some rest. Now, your wavering memory is what I need. The recollections I have are softening around the edges. So, I cling desperately to what I still have in possession and hope it is enough to call you again—your bright laugh and the way it used to echo everywhere I went; your tight hugs and the smell of you after a long day out in the sun; your dim insights on life and your unwavering support; your voice and the way it softens as the tenderness of a sunset washes over you

"I wonder if the reason I have not dreamt of you yet is because you do not wish to see me once more."

Every night, it goes like this—


I wonder if the reason I have not dreamt of you yet is because you do not wish to see me once more. I toss and turn in bed, wishing that your soul can visit me so that I can rest, wishing that you truly don’t think I could’ve done more—hoping you are not disappointed in me and my lack of support. When I lost you, I lost the chance to appreciate your existence.


I yearn for a glimpse of the normality we used to have, yet most of what I receive are nightmares with you starring in them, of events I try so hard to suppress yet always haunt me when I think of you. I wish I can cut off this anchor tying you down, but I’m scared that your memory would float away once I do that.

The intense anguish I used to feel has nestled into something gentler and a little more sticky. Like a flower that has grappled for attention as it bloomed—petals so wide and colorful and bright—yet quietly withered away, my grief has simmered down.

Every night, I wish I could dream of you, because I miss you.

Sometimes—


I think I dream of you.


I have no recollection of any of these dreams, but I remember waking up and feeling the warmth of your embrace lingering still. I remember waking up with a heavy yet satiated heart, breathing a little easier yet still feeling choked up. On these days, you’re at the forefront of my brain; you’re in the humid air I inhale and the heavy tension I exhale.

Sometimes, I think I dream good dreams of you.


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THE INKBLOT JOURNAL

Published by the AUS Writing Center