Ted Dean searched for Laura, and she was nowhere to be found.
His wife had been home a few weeks ago, he wasn’t really sure what happened. His memory was blurry, he remembered the last time he spoke with her was on the phone.
“I’m just not sure that you are real Laura.” He had said.
He had been sitting in the backyard on the porch stairs when he talked to her. Tears made their way onto his red sweatshirt. Everything around him was so clear, but he was focused only on the trees moving in the wind. The edges of the leafs looked so crisp and they were distracting him.
He was in a strange duality. The seriousness of his statement made the world seem so vivid, and it was so beautiful for him to see things this way that he found himself thinking about the leafs as much as his missing wife.
“I’m right here Teddy. I’m not going anywhere.” She had said.
“What if I’m imagining you?”
“Do you remember when we went to Venice? You told me you loved me.”
“I know that I did. I know what that picture looks like in my head. It could be a fantasy though. I am very lonely and it could just be a fantasy.” He broke into a strong sob and lowered his head, running his fingers over his knuckles.
“I’ll see you tomorrow when I come home from my mother’s. Try not to think too much about me, instead clean up our room so that we can lay together when I am home.”
“I will clean our room and try not to think about you too much.”
Laura’s voice cracked a little, “I love you.”
Ted thought about this last conversation, it had been a week ago. Laura had not come home. He had cleaned up their room. The week had gone by, and it was blurry like his memory. He remembered taking the dogs for a walk. He remembered watching the leafs.
He wandered around the kitchen, a kaleidoscope of images and words going through his mind. A doctor in a white lab coat, stern faced, wrinkled forehead. His wife crying. “Schizophrenia. Medication. Degenerative.”
Ted wasn’t quite sure what those words meant, and wondered why his wife had been crying. This confusion was happening more days often then not.
Laura Dean sat on the hard plastic seat of the train. Her elbow rested on the window and her chin in her palm, a blank look on her face. She began to cry, she would not forgive herself for this for the rest of her life.
Before she left home, she had kissed the pillow with Ted’s favorite lipstick, and left the note underneath. He would beg for more then the three words written there. No more words ever came.