She dreamt about you last week.
I nibbled on my breakfast today -- bread and a thinly sliced orange. It seemed enough at the moment, but I snapped somewhere. I let her tell me off for being unreasonable while her hands did dishes the way you taught her to. She never wastes water.
She said you were both running.
This morning she had tiny baby dolls dangling from her ears. Being seen doesn't bother her anymore as much as it used to, but that doesn't matter to you because you always saw her. And I'd like to think you still do. She was beautiful today. And always.
She laughed softly. "Imagine her running," she said. But somehow, I could.
Last week, she got a bright red alarm clock with a built-in radio. Old songs as much as possible, please -- the soundtrack of our late nights. The first night she figured out how to work it, I lay on the bed the same way you used to, one leg crossed and one arm over my eyes, laughing. Did you laugh? I can copy your laugh too, you know.
She said you both knew why you were running.
It's a jungle in there, and I'm not always allowed to explore. But sometimes, she lets me cross a river. Lets me through some vines. And I tell her, "Baby, I'll stand out here with my little torch and wait out the rains. I'll help you map this place out. I'm a little lost in here, but I'm not leaving until these footprints I'm following lead me right next to you." She just smiles. Did you know that your footprints are there, too? They're all over the place.
She said you made it into each other's arms.
I hadn't cried over you in a long, long time but that Sunday morning I drew her in close and we dampened each other's shoulders. Laughed a little. Cried some more. Got dressed. Carried on.
I miss having you in my dreams too, but it was nice of you to say hello. Know that you are always welcome. Maybe next time you'll stay a bit longer. We'll have your coffee ready.
Thank you. Please, come again.
Her gravestone says "You will always be loved". Miss you, Lola Chichi. Just when I thought I had nothing to write about you anymore, this poem came.