If I could have chosen the memory that would linger, it would not have been this image of you as you waved to me from the train.
If I could have chosen the memory that would linger, it would not have been a memory of you. A whole life came after you, and I made it a full one: I owed myself that much, after deciding to live. So many people, so many places, years and decades, my work and my loves, the birth of my children: so much more joy than those few weeks with you, when we clung to each other as we swam in our pain.
But you were before. You were there before my life began and it seems you will be there at its end.
I remember the train as it pulled away and I remember you as you leaned from the window, waving and waving until you went round the corner and were lost from my sight. Maybe I ran beside you until the end of the platform. That would have been fitting, but the memory is gone. Every wave of your arm shouted out that you loved me. I must have waved back, that too I do not remember. The Sun shone from your face.
I have so much time to remember now, as I lie here and wait. So much that I could spend that time remembering: over half a century of life without you. Instead I remember you as you wave, and the train as it goes around the corner.
I would not have chosen that memory of you, but it is fitting. From the moment it arrived, your love was leaving.
Sometimes, very seldom, I wondered if anything could have made you stay, or made you return. The next time I saw you you were already gone, your face the same, your eyes the same, but no longer there for me. The child you bore was not my child. Only your lips were still there briefly, as you kissed me good-bye, then they too were gone.
Where you went and who you went with I never knew.
The room is light, but the darkness is coming. Life is leaving, out of sight around the corner.
You are waving still.