Status: in progress/frequent updates

You Haunt Me

viii. August 12, 2017

John exhaled as he finished off the last of his cup of coffee, pushing himself away from the counter. He thought about going and taking a nap, but he found himself lingering at the doorway to the room that he had avoided for the past while. He put his hand on the knob, opening it after a long pause.

He sat down on the edge of the bed, inhaling sharply. He didn't know why he had gone back in there once again. For some reason, this time he felt a little comfort being in there. He stared at the boxes of her stuff, still stacked neatly in the center of the room. He knew he needed to just get rid of it, but he also knew that if he did, that would mean that it really was all over. He just wasn't ready for that.

Sighing, he leaned over, reaching under the bed and pulling out a heavy box. A thin layer of dust had begun forming over it. He brushed his fingers over it, reading the word "memories" across it in her neat handwriting. He smiled a bit when he remembered the conversation they'd had about it:

"What is that?" John had asked her as she fit the lid back on it.
"Nothing," she responded innocently.
"Oh, come on," he leaned over her. "Let me see."
"No," she giggled as he tickled her sides before becoming serious. "Please don't ever touch this, okay? Not until I tell you you can."
"Fine," he responded.
"John," she looked at him. "I'm serious. Promise me you won't."
"Rae," he chuckled, kissing her cheek. "I promise."

And he had kept that promise, until then. He supposed, however, that at that point it didn't really matter. He slid the lid off, letting it fall onto the floor. His eyes scanned over the labels between the different envelopes: September 2011 all the way up to June 2017.

He pulled out the first one, sliding his finger under the seal. He tilted it until its contents fell onto his lap. He smiled when he saw all the Polaroids she had taken with the camera he had gotten her nearly six years prior. A lot of them were of him, or them together. He glanced at them, noticing she had captioned each one. He picked one up, remembering it from her birthday. It was the first photo that had been taken with that camera. Her handwriting filled the small space below the photo: "The day I realized I was in love with you."

He could feel the tears beginning to form in his eyes already as he gathered up the photos and placed them back in their respective envelope. He moved to the next one. He chuckled a bit when he saw a picture of him holding his hand over his face with the caption: "I'm so in love with you."

He continued going through the various envelopes. Christmas trees, Holiday baking, First Christmas... He became so engrossed in the photos that he spent hours looking through every single one.
While he knew it was a painful reminder of everything that had happened over the few months prior, he couldn’t bring himself to get rid of them, just like the various other belongings of hers that were still around. So, he packaged them all back up neatly the way she had left them and slid the box back under the bed.
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