One Perfect Day

i wrote this piece some years ago, and this morning while going through a folder of old poetry and writing, i came across it again. Polished and pared down to 500 words, here it is…

All day long, I noticed that something was different. From the very first moment I saw you that morning, you had a look in your eyes that chilled me.

When you kissed me good morning, you held on a little longer, sighed a little deeper, and you pulled back slowly to look into my eyes. You offered me coffee and slipped back into bed beside me holding me close against you and breathing the scent of my hair. I could tell you had something weighing on your mind. You seemed on edge, unsure, and perhaps a little distracted.

After coffee, we rose and washed. Your eyes lingered on me as I chose my outfit and dressed, flicking away quickly when I felt them resting on me. You looked around our bedroom as if you were seeing it for the first time, taking in every small detail of living and décor. Your soft gaze lingered longest on the crumpled nest of our bed, as sunlight streamed in cheerfully through the open curtains.

Turning away at last, you breathed a heavy sigh and then told me that we would spend the morning shopping. You knew that I loved to be out with you, walking beside you, sharing more than the usual day to day routine. My face lit up with a bright smile and a slow smile spread across your face in return.

The whole day, you were gently solicitous, kind and sweetly attentive, holding my hand, kissing me with your gaze, sighing whenever we touched accidentally. We shopped, we spoke and laughed, but your eyes were clouded and your laughter seemed strained. I admired a pair of earrings, and you offered to buy them for me. Later, when we passed a display of rings, you urged me to linger and look, and afterwards you presented me with my favourite from the selection. I bought you a gift too, a decorative knife to add to your collection.

We stopped at our usual restaurant, and you softly insisted that I order all my most loved dishes. As we ate, you held onto me with your eyes, as if memorizing me, watching me eat, hardly touching your own meal until it was cold and unappetizing, and then paying only cursory attention to eating it.

You said, “You’re beautiful when you smile.”
I blushed and replied “You’ve been in the sun too long.”

You smiled in a new, secretive way. It was a sad smile, and you reached out and placed your hand over mine, squeezing me gently, then turning it over and tracing your fingers across the lines in my palm. Running your index finger along my love-line until it split in two, one crease shallow and fading out quickly, and the other running deep across my hand.

And then suddenly, deep inside me I knew what this feeling was I knew what you were trying to say, and it was “Goodbye.”

Our one perfect day together was a parting gift for me.


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