When the person you love has covid what can you do?
You can stay awake till 2 in the morning like me and try to get your thoughts on a paper. Phone. Tablet. Whatever you want to use. You can watch your favourite childhood show on YouTube and critique it’s odd Netflix remake. You can sift through heaps and heaps of data, talking about the virus and how many people got it. You can have a panic attack and try to breathe through it without alerting anyone because who would understand how much they meant to you. You could lie awake in bed. Hungry. Thinking about nothing and everything. Just like how I am doing now.
It’s 2:15. The crows outside are cawing. For some reason their rest has been disturbed. Perhaps my own thoughts are so loud they are shaking the trees in the graveyard by my house. The branches groaning and creaking in the night make the crows angry and alert. They rush out to find the source but chancing upon it. Me. Lying in bed writing this with a chest that feels like a bag of bricks. They turn back. Sorrow can be contagious. If birds wings get heavy they cannot fly.
It is 2:39. The dog outside is barking. The dogs across the road bark back. Signalling their territory. The mother dog is probably lying with her pups. Wondering why my eyes that are usually so full of joy are downcast. Why I held onto her like she’s the last thing I have left on this earth now. Her dusty face pressed against my leg. I held her for whatever little contact I could make. She wonders now, while her pups lie against her for warmth and comfort.
You could, like me, take out the perfume they use. Spray some on your pillows to try and imagine them near. When you have your therapy session later in the week, you will omit this from what you tell your doctor because it’s shameful. You’re so young. What do you know of love? They all say that. But I know that I am loving. I know that I’m passionate. Strong, fierce and caring. My age does not dilute the feelings I may have. If anything, it will enhance them.
At 3:05 you’ll look at the phone. Wondering if they’re getting a good night’s rest. You’ll open YouTube and try to play some soothing sounds of rain falling or waves crashing against sand. Anything to eliminate the deafening silence around you. Around me. The sound of a heart beating — my heart beating only makes me so much more aware of my own mortality. It could have been me. I’d have gladly taken on the struggle. If it meant that they were safe. That they were okay.
At 8 in the morning, you see a text. A text telling you that you and them don’t fit… Not anymore. You don’t even get a call. Perhaps it’s for the better. Voices break you down far more than you have known before. Break me down. But also, it’s like this has been coming. Like the wings of the crows carried the message in the dark and dropped it off before anyone else caught it. In the daytime it all seems fine. But dark revels at night time and secrets find their turf then too.
I question my mortality. What if it had been me with covid and not them. What if… Doubts run through my head and make their way into my heart.
What do you do when the person you love has covid? You give them all you have. Because you don’t know which moment could be their last. And when they recover, and come to terms with all you have to give, they might find that that wasn’t right for them. And they might let go of all that you were together.
I don’t question if I wasn’t enough. I was probably more than that. Who’s to say what goes on in another person’s head. Not me. We drifted apart over the days, and even though I tried to keep us together, the waves had other plans. I hear them in the night, lapping at my feet. They’ve brought me to shore, but taken them further out to the sea. Further away from me. I walk along the sand. It’s crunch between my toes is a satisfying grounding mechanism. Sometimes, I look out onto the open waters. I see the sails of what used to be our ship. Each day, floating away.
One day… it will be a speck on the horizon. Like the grains of sand that cling to my toes.
I wrote this before. When I felt like we were having trouble. I never finished it. But that’s okay. We got cut off pretty abruptly too…
Every night that goes by I miss you so
And the days are blurry without you
I fear that we’re drifting apart slowly
I don’t want to lose you
But I don’t know how to keep you
Especially if you don’t want to stay
The best I can do is sincerely hope
That you won’t get tired and go away