A simple question, asked by a close friend (of both mine and Liane's) out of the blue. "Do you see her?".
My mind span.
My heart leapt.
The familiar throat constriction and my two eyes full of tears. I couldn't reply. For the hundredth time since April 20th I sat looking at someone unable to talk. Luckily the company I was in understood immediately and we let the moment drift away for another day.
Have I seen her? I have. I've seen Liane in two very different ways.
In the literal sense, I've seen her hair in a crowd. I've seen her style of clothes - those warm autumn colours and natural greens/blues. I've seen other people with her walk, her gentle bounce. I've seen her jackets pass me by on the street. I've seen people holding each other like we did - one taller than the other, hands connected and waists lob-sided. I've yearned for her so hard my mind plays tricks on me as I go about my life each day.
In the ethereal sense (not sure if that's quite the right word but it'll do for today) I see her her mostly in our/my house. She permeates the place like a warm smell. Her belongings, my belongings, our belongings. She's in the teacups and the art on the walls. I see her in the random lidless tupperware and in the wine stained table. I see Liane at the Forty Foot - all shivers and grins. I see her hunched over a coffee and a paper as I walk slowly past the Alliance Française. I see her tucking into a Guinness at Grogans and not shying away from a full plate of food in the Corner Note (somewhere I'm utterly terrified of revisiting).
I see her in a decade of memories across a city we loved in and lived in together, side by side.
So yes, I do see her.
And it hurts because it's not real. For all the belief systems, the hope, the pure stubborn yearning...the hard truth is that she's gone. I won't be with her again. My eyes won't connect with hers like they did. And that, well that, is really difficult.