To the woman in the trench coat on the bus, with longer, thicker, darker hair like I used to know, you will be fine. And I watch her from the back seat of the bus, years away from her but she doesn’t know I’m there.
And if I stood up and wobbled with the motion, if I plumped down besides her and took her hand then she would jump. And she’d wonder who the older woman was as I leaned in and whispered in her ear. But she doesn’t jump because she cannot see me sitting there. And I push the hair back from her ear and whisper ‘you’ll be alright’ but she cannot hear me because she’s rushing. She’s stumbling up to A & E while her young boy is at Primary and I watch her hurry as I walk behind her and I know the things that wait for her behind the heavy doors.
And if she could sense me, she’d look behind her and wonder why the older woman followed but she wouldn’t stop to question because there was no time.
And I watch her as the doors to A & E swallow her up whole leaving nothing but the memory of her rushing through. And I’m waiting to take her hand and squeeze it tight, I’m ready to catch her when she faints as she will do and as I cradle her younger body into my arms I’ll stroke her forehead and tell her she’ll be alright as we both rest there on their sterile scrubbed white floor.
And if she could hear me, if she could look into my eyes, she’d not believe me but I hold her close and keep her warm. She scatters into tiny pieces and I’ll call out her name. I’ll make everything alright for her because it will be, in a way she’d not imagine, if she could only hear me and if she could see my form.
To the woman in the trench coat with longer, thicker, darker hair like I used to know, I promise you, believe me, you will be fine. And somehow, somewhere my words will reach her and I’ll never ever leave her side.