I Still Hear Her Heartbeat

The realism of my dream tonight still haunts me. It wasn’t a bad dream, nor was it a sad one. But the reality that I woke up to is. I heard the gentle ticking of her heartbeat so vividly again. It’s a sound that I haven’t heard in a very long time. 

It was a love story that we both seemed oblivious to when we had it. We were young, high strung, passionate, but stubborn. But there was so much about her that I loved. She had a poise that was naturally elegant, a smile that still warms me, the most beautifully soft hair, and a voice I would kill for to hear again. She lost her voice during one of the many operations she had for a heart condition that she was born with. But when her voice returned, it was with a husky tone that sent tingles through me each time we talked. I can’t remember if I told her that or not.

We’d sit in the same room at opposite ends, and with others in the room I was still able to hear the ticking sound of the valve that was inserted into her heart when she was just 14. It wasn’t a clock-like tick. It had a soft resonance to it that made it oddly familiar but unique. I was so attuned to it that I could tell the thickness of her blood just by listening to the sound of it. She needed to take medication to control her blood thickness levels so that the valve could function optimally.

And tonight, after almost a decade, she leaned into me again, rested her head on my chest, and just surrendered the full weight of her timid body into me. And that’s when I heard it. That beautiful ticking sound confirming every passionate beat of her heart. I still hear it. But it saddens me now. The tears burn. Sting. Because the reality that I woke up to is that she is gone. She has been gone for about 10 years now, and the hollowness that I felt when she died still overwhelms me now. 

We fought a lot. We treated each other badly at times. We loved each other ferociously all the time. And without realising it, we made our peace with each other a few days before she died. It’s only after she died that I understood the sadness I saw in her eyes a few days before. I haven’t thought about her, nor dreamed about her in a while. But now it feels like I just lost her again. 

I miss her.

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