This is the weekend. The one that haunts me. For four years now I have done this dance.
I jokingly asked you when you left the building if you were coming back.
"I don't know." or "Maybe." was your reply.
It seemed as though I could no more tell than you could -- the way you looked down at your feet -- as you stared out into the...
...the what? The distance? The Past and Future present?
You had no more walked out the door when I called Lois.
"Something's wrong!" I said.
"Call her." she replied.
Minutes later worked consumed me.
I got busy. I forgot.
When I got off work I finally remembered. I made the call. No answer. I left a message.
"L. It's me. You kind of scared me when you left the building. Are you doing alright? Call me."
It was the first message of three that I would leave you. Each one more panicked than the last.
I always wondered what they heard when they went through your phone messages later. When your father hit play messages. When your kids passed the phone back and forth.
Somebody would have recognized my fear and then said, "He knew."
It was a very long weekend. Every time I called you it went straight to voice mail and I resolved to tell myself you just went out of town, you were out with your friends, everything was all right. Everything was all right.
I called work on Tuesday night. "R., it's Beaux. I have a question."
"Shoot." R. said.
"Do you know if L. ever came to work today?"
There was a long pause. Too long. I almost dropped the phone.
"Oh Beaux! You haven't heard yet have you?"
R. couldn't speak anymore.
"She's not coming back is she." I half asked.
"No." R. said, "She's not coming back."
Later I started to remember. You had been giving your things away. You gave one of your kids your telescope. Your most prized possession. You had mentioned other things that you had given the children. Your bike. Why did I not see that? My intuition has always been very strong. I should have found you four years ago. I should have hunted you down.
But they say it was too late. Everything happened early on. And even if I had found you. Even if I could have stopped you. It may have only been for that day. Or maybe a week. Maybe even a year. But you would have eventually chose the path you were on. I think the world had already driven you to this end. Your pain, your sadness, your body. They had all said enough.
It was on this day 4 years ago when you walked out that door. I still remember your half smile. Your voice when you said, "I might come back."
It was your voice that made me look up from what I was doing.
It was your voice that made me call Lois.
I wish I had walked out that door with you.
I wish I had trusted my instinct.
I wish I had held your hand and said don't do this.
I miss you.