It was his dreams that tortured him most: his dreams contained her and so he feared sleep. The daylight brought no consolation either. Life in the sunlit city only reminded him of her every detail. The wind pushed through leaves like her sighs in the bluest shades of night. Laughter bounced from storefronts in blatant reminders of their love. Hard-heeled shoes faded from earshot like the memories he was trying to keep.
But his dreams! One night she was a phantom he found playing soft arpeggios on his piano. Another night she was a Juliet crying for him, as he sank slowly in a pool of quicksand. She was a waitress, and a sparrow, a sunbather, and an aria on the wind. So he was a ghost with only vague recollections of his life before her.
Years later, he would look back on his haunting with great longing. She would exist in his memory as an era, a blur of experience and nostalgia. She taught me about love, he would say. She brought me closer to life and death than I’d ever been.