I think it's finally dawned on me. She isn't coming back. I lay in bed last night, in our bedroom, surrounded by all of her things, staring through the darkness until the room seemed light and every detail was visible. It was raining outside and the wind rattled the windows, all the trappings of pathetic fallacy. I was simultaneously hot and cold, my stomach knotted. I was finally, crucially sober. I closed my eyes. I opened my eyes. The same inky shapes blotted back into view. The coat on the back of the door never became a hovering phantom, the clothes bursting out of her wardrobe came no closer, arrested like a frozen tide.
I miss her so much. If there were ever candidates for a "Ghost" style romance, thumb-deep in potter's clay, it would be Kelly and I. We were so in love. We had so little time. She died so quickly.
But there are no ghosts. And, if there were, this East Belfast house, where she spent two of the worst months of her life, would be the last place she'd turn up. She'd hang about the Ormeau Road or Gulladuff. Or Camberwell, where we were happiest, eating a curry and drinking champagne on New Years Eve. Watching the fireworks over the Thames from our living room window, holding each other.
I don't know why I don't dream about her though. I dream tedious, vivid rubbish every night, but I can never dream about her. I just want to see her again.
I'm left behind. Like her turtle picture. Like the boxes of hats and scarves. As empty as her shoes.