"Why don't you wear that dress?" He asked her one day.
"Because I don't," she replied shortly. But with her answer there came a past and a beginning, that she had ebb away long ago. She had love that dress, not for its simplicity, but for what it meant to her. For instance, it was the dress she wore once when she was a school girl for a school dance. It was the dress she slipped off from her pale skin, when she first experienced love. Love, like the cricket’s lullaby; soft and delicate yet also strenuous to get rid off.
She gathered the dress in her arms and hold it close to her chest, recollecting her thoughts and memories of long ago, when she was young and in love. The scent of fresh green grass stained the dress, and if she pressed her nose long enough, she would also sniff salt, sweat, and alcohol mingled in the cloth. The recognizable aroma of body heat flourished on the cotton fabric, forevermore. And that’s when she wished she still had cropped, short, hair and thousands of cigarettes to spare, like before. Because holding a cigarette gave her something to do with her hands and that was enough for her not to quit. But that was in the past. And she had quit, by now, because her doctor recommended her to do so. And because she did not have him to share the cigarette with or anything.
This is when she remembered the smell of him. And she wished, with her eyes wide open, that he was still here with her. That the photographs, the notes, the clothes, the dress, and everything else were not things of the past or only memories. She wished and wished, holding the dress close to her chest, because it was better to wish than to cry.
She dredged up, from the dusty collections of her cerebrum, stacked long ago, memoirs of him.
Recall, recall, how his rough, calloused hands touched her and never let go until dawn came. How they trailed from her neck down to her thighs and she felt like a woman for the first, second, third… time with him. He would often say, “Love will tear us apart.” And to this she would reply, “Yes.” Nothing matter in those nights except for the constant movement of their bodies, as the voltage of electricity excited its state, inside their veins.
She stroked the garment gently, forgetting it was only an old dress instead of an old love. She closed her eyes and reminiscent, on the dark evenings under the purple starry mantle above, in the sky. His fragrance still linger on the dress and at some point it felt so real that she felt herself laying on the grass, like long ago. She felt his arm around her. And his voice called to her, like yesteryear. And that was when the fireflies bolted from their hidden places and the wind rocked them swiftly from where they lay. But all of that was gone, because she wasn’t in the past. She was in the present where decisions had already been made and at night she lay with her now husband instead. She wished that his lips were alive and warm instead of dead and cold and six feet underground, rotting in the earth.
In the time of the fireflies, when he and she spent countless of nights under the stars. When the moon was jealous of their unconventionally love. When the dress she holds now, lay on the grass with his clothes. When she wore crimson red lipstick just for him to take off. When his voice was vibrant and full of live, rough and sweet at the same time. The same voice that haunts her at night even now. That’s where she wants to be. In the time where it was just him & her and nothing else matter.
So, she doesn’t wear that dress, anymore. The dress he touched and kissed, nevermore. Because with that dress they promised eternal love. They were foolish to believe that love lasts forever. And to believe it would fool death. Hades still took him into the underworld. And she married someone else.
But, true love waits. And she would meet him in heaven, one day, with her dress and all.