To Jenn

I’m sitting, staring out of the window. I’m not sure how long I’ve been looking at the same view. It isn’t, in fact, the same view. It is changing subtly second by second. As I describe this, it is raining to my left, sunny and dry to my right. Wild grasses bow to the gusts of wind. You’d be able to tell me the name of the bird that flew past, fighting the breeze, hugging the ground for shelter. Just beyond the milky green sea has the texture of Artex, solid and heavy. In the distance, beyond the shelter of the bay I can see splashes of white against sea cliffs, rough tears on the edges of the land. Distance makes the waves look innocuous, but the fact that I can see them from here, means they have height, volume, violence to them. On the edge of the horizon stands Macleod’s Maidens - sea stacks standing proud of the precipitous sea cliffs on the western edges of Skye.

A few years ago we ran out along a coastal path, stood at the top of the cliffs and gazed down to the Maidens, and the turquoise sea below. It was a sunny, warm day and we were in no hurry to turn inland and complete our loop. It was enough to just be there, to have this beautiful place to ourselves, and to have each other. 

Now you aren’t here any more. 

I miss you so much. You were the only person I ever shared everything with. My loves, my inner fears, my escapes from the rest of life. You made every single aspect of life a better prospect. Someone stood next to me to appreciate the view. We didn’t need to speak. Someone to hug. Someone to hug me. When you were no longer able to run and ride with me, you were someone to come home to and tell stories to. You listened and smiled and were happy for me. I knew how dearly you wanted to be out there too. How much you missed it. I felt guilty that I could still enjoy all the things you loved so much. You told me to do it for two.

Now you aren’t here any more.

I’m so tired. Looking after you was the hardest thing I’ve ever done. It was the only thing I wanted to do, but seeing you gradually grow weaker, seeing my Jenn fade away has slowly but surely broken me. 

Now you aren’t here any more.

There is no one waiting at home when I get it. There is now a house, with our possessions in. I pack some of those possessions into the van and point it north. Our places. I feel closer to you. The views are just as beautiful without you holding my hand, but what’s the point in seeing them if I don’t have you with me? I run. Not quickly, but it’s about the process, not the speed. It’s about being part of the land. You taught me to appreciate my surrounding more than I ever did before. To see the beauty in the small things, as well as the big. 

Now you aren’t here any more.

I don’t know what I will do next. I dream about you. I think about you all the time. It hurts, physically. I don’t ever want to stop thinking about you though. I’m petrified that I will forget things. The beautiful small things will fade away and get lost forever. 

Now you aren’t here any more.

You told me to look after myself after you’d gone. You told me to keep having adventures, to be with friends, to keep living. I promised I would. I didn’t comprehend how hard it would be to keep doing things. Anything. I promise I will though. I will keep on going. It’s what we do, isn’t it? It’s what we talked about before we got together. How we both had to just keep going. It’s what we did while you were ill. It’s all that I can do now you aren’t here any more.

I love you.

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