I had forgotten how empty a room can feel, and how slowly time can move when there is nothing to fill it but waiting -- the hours creep by at the most protracted pace imaginable -- no distractions exist -- boredom and agitation take over.
I have very little appetite, but I have been in the kitchen, mostly to make people aware of what has happened. About every six hours or so, I leave a note here and go to her old room; I wait there for her for an hour or so, with her things, then I walk through the hallways, listening for the sounds of someone trapped in a room. Of course, I never hear anything. No one has seen her or heard her since a few hours before she vanished.
(Cockeyed optimism from Pink-san, somewhat less so from Mel, surprising good nature from Mihael, the usual strangeness from B, and so on. At the moment, I am writing this while sitting on the bed that used to be hers.)
I did not sleep the first night she was gone. A younger double of mine here is friendly -- friendlier than I would have been at his age, as is his boyfriend -- I ran into him in a room that gave us some sort of companion animal (I was given an insolent osprey who called herself Raina and hectored me about my health). This other L suggested chamomile and valerian; I credit the tea with the eight hours of sleep I've managed (4 each, the past two nights) since M. went away.
When I think about it, it seems that everything came too late for M. and me.
I can hope that she will come back, but what if she doesn't? Should I allow myself to hope, and if I do, when do I know it is time to stop? Supposing she never reappears, will I ever at least know what happened to her -- how long she lived after leaving? What she could remember?
["I am closest to you when I am far away."]
( Down here everything is fine. We have a straw, we have a line. We have a bag, a rock, a mountain with a string of shepherds driving lions. )