I’ve always been partial to the letter L. My dad’s name starts with “L,” my name, and my son’s. When you’re in pre-k and learning your letters, you get so excited when you see the letter that belongs to you. “L is for Lauren! That’s me!” I’ve seen this over and over again with my kids. The recognition of yourself in something abstract.
Today, I wrote for Finish That Thought about loss. Loss of something you once had is hard to cope with. We’ve all been there, whether it’s losing a loved one, breaking up with a boyfriend, or something more (as is the case with my protagonist). I feel like I’ve been lucky in my life, but still I’ve experienced a lot of loss. It’s part of life, learning how to cope with grief, and move on to find what else life has to offer you.
Enjoy the read!
“It is not uncommon to get melancholy when it rains,” the therapist said, drumming his pencil against his pad.
Yellow, legal pad, Laurel thought to herself. She could almost taste yellow, like a burst of sunshine in her mouth.
“I get so blue. You know, when I walk outside, and I can smell the ozone—that’s what it’s called, right? I can feel the drops on my skin, the tiny hair follicles rising to greet the rain.”
“It’s called SAD,” the therapist said.
“And I used to read. Now I listen to the characters in my favorite books. I hear their voices trickling from my boom box—I still have one of those—but the problem is, they don’t sound like how I’d imagine them.”
The therapist cleared his throat. She heard the tinkle of ice cubes against his glass, and she imagined him picking up the glass, pressing it to his dry lips, and taking a sip. She imagined the glare of the newborn sun, born of the rain, and scattering rainbow spots over his white walls: green, orange, indigo, violet, and red. She was forgetting a few, but couldn’t figure out which ones.
“Are you ready to talk about the accident, yet?”
She heard the thunder, and she knew she was premature in her thoughts of the storm’s end. She settled into the couch, rubbing her fingers along the edge of the leather fabric: smooth and soft. She always thought about the accident, but had yet to speak about it. Every day, she woke up in a black world and opened her eyes to a sightless world. In her dreams, she could see. Colors were vivid, dripping their peaceful hues, like a childhood book she had once read.
“I know it’s stupid and part of denial, but one day I think I’m going to wake up and be able to see.”
“It’s very common to have these thoughts, even when you know they’re unrealistic.”
“The sun will come out, and I’ll feel it on my skin. I’ll look up into the sky, and I’ll be able to see birds flying. I’ll see all the colors of the rainbow instead of just imagining them. The blue of the sky. The world is full of colors that I can’t see anymore.”
“Talking about it helps, Laurel.”
“Will talking about it help me get my vision back? I don’t think so. I escaped, that’s all that matters. It was just a passing storm,” Laurel said, running her fingers over the couch until she found her purse.
She stood up to leave the room.
“See you next week?” the therapist asked.
“Not likely,” she said, with a laugh.