I remember things she said throughout my life. When we first met, it was at school. She was new, but not at all shy. The teacher asked her to say a few words about herself, so she got up from her desk, walked all the way to the front of the classroom and said, “Hi, do you guys like cats?”
When we first made love it was years later, at a house party when Dave’s parents were away. We snuck out into the gazebo to make out. It was so beautiful, with tiny lights like a Christmas tree, and the thrill of being discovered was so exciting. Things got hot and in the middle of it she said “No, not like this.”
When she had the baby, the labor was rough. She looked like a nightmare, like the walking dead. They gave her the waning little thing to hold in her arms. She looked at me, then looked at Dave, then looked at nobody in particular and said, “I am so tired.”
Long after we were married we felt we were falling out of love, but we had a romantic night up on the roof one hot summer. The stars were tiny little lights much like those lights on the gazebo. She put her head on my chest and said, “Even if we are apart, we will stare at the same stars at night. That is the only kind of love a person needs.”
After we divorced, I saw her at a cafe. I walked up and started a conversation. She was pleasant enough, the type of kindness you show to strangers. As we were saying goodbye, she touched my arm and said, “You look well.”
When I was dying, she said “Don’t forget to feed the cat.” Except she was not really there, so how is that possible?