The monotonous hum of the bathroom fan seemed intolerable at first, as I tried to complete the work I’d set out to do; yet, as time wore on, it became less noticeable. Thinking back to that inauspicious day, however, all I can hear is the droning sound of that fan.
Candice was showering. In fact she had been in there so long, I began to imagine how unattractively wrinkled her fingers must be. I considered several disparaging remarks about her “old-lady hands,” said with love, to hit her with when she appeared out her pleasant little spa. In reality, her hands were beautiful: soft, youthful, not an imperfection on them, save for a tiny freckle in between her right forefinger and her thumb. God, how I had once been so infatuated with that diminutive marking.
But I needed to focus.
The finance world was abuzz with talks of mergers among several important companies. This could mean big money, or huge losses; I had to play my cards right.
A crash coming from the other end of the house interrupted my concentration. I leapt up, a feeling of inexplicable foreboding suddenly running rampant at the base of my stomach. “Hun? Candice? Everything okay in there?” I could not hide the urgency or panic in my voice. There was no answer. There would never be an answer.
The most difficult part about losing someone is the knowledge that you will no longer share in the memories to come. When Candice left me, however, she took with her the memories we had once enjoyed in the past as well.
I don’t hate her, I just don’t understand what happened, which is the feeling that the doctors at the hospital say I need to suppress. “There is nothing to understand,” they incessantly, yet patiently, explain.
I recall the exact moment when I knew my life would never be the same. The door to the bathroom was unlocked. Always demure and extremely modest, Candice secured any entry, as though we may be under attack from an army of peeping toms. As I opened the door, the sound hit me right away: the dull hum that would never escape my psyche. I called to her again, my voice echoing in the small, windowless room. Pushing the shower curtain to one side revealed a torrent of lukewarm water being consumed by the ravenous drainpipe. Unsure of my next move, I called out to her again, shutting the water off. Moving through the hallway of the small ranch in a matter of steps, I scanned the bedroom. Empty. The other rooms in the house were unchanged also. How could this be? To this day, I wonder the same thing.
The rest of the experience is somewhat a blur to me. That phrase, “Who is Candice?” repeated by people who I thought were my friends, the skepticism in my parents’ faces as I tried to explain my hurt and confusion, and, finally, my admission into the hospital that I now call home.
Although everyone persists that Candice was never more than a figment of my over-active imagination, I know that she is real, and she’ll come back for me. We will prove them all wrong.
If only that damn humming would stop.