I Saw a Cloud That Reminded Me of You

Dear Samantha, 

I hope this letter finds you well. And, if I may be as bold, I want to assume you are pleased to hear from me. After all, It’s been ages since that summer. From the time we rested shoulder to shoulder on a field of sunflowers, gazing up at the clouds as they swam past us overhead. And I remember. I remember how brilliantly your eyes shone as you interpreted the shape of such and such fluffy whiteness in the sky. 

“Hey, Nate, what do you make of that cloud? No, farther to the right, you dummy, do you see the rabbit?”. 

You glanced at me expectantly, with such eagerness that I almost burst into laughter. I knew then, that were you not limited by your feeble frame, but rather by the measure of your willpower, you would have reached all the way into the heavens. I answered your question with honesty, pointing out the characteristic shape of a duck’s beak among the clouds. And you, you pressed your lips together, pouting. At that moment, you looked just like the duck in the sky, but I didn’t tell you that; I’m a nice guy. 

As I write this letter, I sit at the spot where you once were. And, I just wanted you to know — I saw a cloud that reminded me of you. I know, it sounds cringe, perhaps a bit bizarre, but it’s the truth. Maybe it was the way the cloud constantly changed shape, from a prideful lion to a gentle cat. You were like that, weren’t you? Quick to anger, but always coming back to that sweet, gentle smile of yours. 

Did you know? I did my fair share of cloud gazing while you were curled up next to me, but I could never truly get into it, for my gaze always shifted back to you. Well, that’s a stupid question, isn’t it? I even remember the way you met my eyes once, smiling impishly. 

If there is one thing that characterized our relationship, it was the way you always managed to find new ways of teasing me. And, although I acted as though I disliked it, I really didn’t. Instead, your unique quirkiness just made me fancy you even more. Heh, but then again, you knew that as well, didn’t you? Oh god, Sam. I have lost count of the times I’ve put our encounters on repeat. Dreaming of a world where you still exist. 

Sometimes, I still visit our private cloud gazing spot, reserving, as I always did, a place for you besides me. And sitting there, I close my eyes, imagining a world of endless summers and infinite fields of sunflowers; a sacred place neath the vaults of the heavens, where we are free to gaze upon the clouds forevermore. But, no matter how long I stay there, waiting for you, there is naught but an empty patch of withered sunflowers next to me. They wait for summer as I wait for you. Perhaps we are waiting for the same thing, the flowers and I. Summer… the sensation of your shoulder touching mine. 

After you left, it was as though I saw the world through a snowstorm; colors faded to a dull gray—eternal winter. 

But hey, Sam, I beg you not to misunderstand. I do not regret it. No, I would never wish for a cosmos where I never met you. Such a world would be the epitome of emptiness, worthless nothingness. I never told you that, did I? How much you meant to me. Perhaps, if there were one thing I did regret, that would undoubtedly be it. It is easy to take things for granted, enjoying the presence of your touch, expecting it to last forever. I lived unaware that reality was fleeting past, just like the clouds in the sky, expecting you to remain as steadfast as you do in my dreams. But, one day, you didn’t show up. And I didn’t think much of it back then, although I admit I was surprised. You were always first to arrive, greeting me at a distance with an eager wave of the hand. You were my sun. 

And now, as I gaze at the clouds swimming past me overhead, I cannot help but see you up there as well. Free, unfettered by the restraints of your sickly frame. Suffering released, and pancreatic cancer no more.

You best friend, now and always. 

// Nathan

A lone man sits neath an ancient tree, a blanket for two spread out under him. In the ragged remains of a black suit, he sits there alone, a withered bouquet of red roses next to him. It seems, to the onlooker, as though he has been waiting there for quite some time, for someone to sit down there beside him. Park-goers have come to expect his increasingly unkempt figure. As if rooted by the tree, he rarely moves far out of its reach. Motionless, but for the furious scratching of pen on paper.

 It’s been a month since he was last spotted, and still, he remains, hunched down over a sea of ink and paper, fresh tears rolling down onto a letter he just finished writing. However, this time, to the amazement of a couple walking by, he does not rip it apart; instead, he reaches for a cylindrical container. Nathan wipes his watery eyes with a black handkerchief, raising himself to his knees to fold the blanket. Finally, he carefully rolls the letter, inserting it in the container before sealing the lid forever.

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