I think I had completely lost my mind, for I don’t even remember the events which have led me to this dark drab place so far away from anything normal.
Her death was so sudden, so instantly painful, and felt like a warship had blasted a cannon through my heart. I remember getting a phone call at work, and then my memory went blank. That was also the last time I saw colour. The stamp on my passport says I arrived here two weeks after her death. The Qantas ticket stub says I’m in Tokyo. I guess shock has a way of royally screwing a person up by taking over their mind, their body, and then waking them up sometime later in a whacky black and white foreign film.
We had plans, lots of them, and we were working our asses off to afford them. Plans to have kids, travel to Europe, and buy a cottage in the North part of the city. She wanted a country style kitchen and a little veggie patch out back. I wanted a decent sized garage so I could tinker with my motorcycle.
She was so pretty, always smiling and smelling like the ocean. She always dressed up nice, and never minded me going off and watching a footy game with my mates. She was going places too, her paintings of rainbows hung in galleries all over the country. I still can’t believe she’s gone, everything has gone so dark. She brought colour into my life. I’m so messed up right now, I don’t know what the hell I’m supposed to do.
Each day I question why here? Why Japan? And yet I don’t leave. Day after day well into the night for a month I walked the grey streets alone, numb, wondering, stumbling, passing one concrete building after another, uncaring which way I went, often getting so lost I would sit down on a park bench and cry. I stopped all that walking last week though, or was it the week before? The soles in my shoes started cracking so I walked into a shoe store and learned my Australian feet are too big for Japanese shoes. So I went back to my dodgey closet hotel apartment, lay down on the hard futon and went to sleep. I feel like I slept for two weeks. I’ve been such a zombie, God only knows what I’ve actually done. I need to snap out of this, I need to get my sh*t together.
The weirdest thing happened to me yesterday. I walked into this Irish pub sometime in the morning, one with a sign on street level, but was actually located in a windowless basement. A soccer game was airing on a big screen TV in the centre of the pub. I sat in a dark corner and tried to pay attention but I could barely focus. The pub was mostly empty save for a few older foreign blokes, and a couple of Japanese men in black suits. So I ordered another frothy beer and willed the drunkness to come take away the pain.
There was this guy sitting not far away. He had long white hair tied back in a pony tale. He saw me, picked up his lunch and sat down in front of me. I was not in the mood for company, but there was something about this mans face. Was it the lines, the odd grey colour, or the fact that he was a foreigner like me? I couldn’t quite figure it out. I decided to humour him. He said his name was Jim, came from the UK. He said he hadn’t been in Tokyo very long, just a few weeks. He bought me another beer, and that seemed to loosen me up a bit.
For the first time since she died, I actually remember talking about it. Once I started talking, the words started tumbling out. I told him about the car accident, how I found myself here and don’t even remember arriving. I told him how broken I am, how I miss her, how I can’t seem to live without her, and now she’s gone forever and taken all the colour in this world with her.
Jim sat back and listened, then when I was done talking he said, “Tom, what you need is a sign, a sign that she’s not gone, she’s still here with you, just not physically. You need to get your life back together, you need to start moving on and you won’t be able to without a sign.”
“You really believe that?” I asked
“I do!” Jim said. “The sign is different for everyone, it has meaning to you, and only you, and you’ll know it when you see it. Go on, ask for it, call to her in your mind, tell her to send you a sign.”
I looked at him still a little unsure.
“Go on, give it a go, right here, come on!” coaxed Jim.
I decided I had nothing to lose. I closed my eyes and I said in my mind “Babe, if you can hear me, send me a sign that you are not gone for ever, and that I’ll be ok.”
Jim had to go but I sat at that pub until the game was over. I climbed up the steps into the bright afternoon light. The ground was glistening like diamonds in the sun. It must have just rained. I turned the corner onto a bigger street, looked up and stopped dead in my tracks. There ahead arched over the street was the most beautiful rainbow I had ever seen. After having seen so much darkness, the colours were absolutely stunning.
The prompt was the photo above & 5 words which have been written in Bold in the story. 🙂