You wake up sometimes in the middle of the night and you forget that he’s dead.
You have dreams where he walks out of the lake, hair plastered to his face, his tie a noose around his neck.
Sometimes, in the dream, he hugs you and you let him soak you in lake water, your fingers damming up the rivulets that stream down his back, your hands fisting in his shirt, your lips whispering, Please stay, please.
Sometimes he has a toothy grin and black goo oozes from his eyes and he kills you before you can run.
Sometimes he’s still him but his fingers find your neck and he shakes you, your head flopping back and forth like all you’ve got in your body is straw, I did it, all of it, for you, I gave everything for you, and you failed, and this is what you give me?
Sometimes he kisses you, soft, like he thinks he’ll break you.
Sometimes he knocks you over and destroys your mouth with his, hunger rolling off of him and crushing you, and you’ve never wanted to be hurt this badly before.
Sometimes you stand at the edge of the lake for what feels like days and he never comes.
Sometimes you wake up gasping, your legs twisted in your sheets, the glass by your bedside empty and sticky with liquor.
But sometimes you wake up with a smile on your face, and this is the worst, because the moment you remember, the moment you realize that it’s February and he’s still dead, for hours you just wish you could fall back asleep, fall back into that dream, and live there instead.
Sometimes you hope that this is a dream, and that soon you’ll wake up from this, too.