It’s three o’clock in the morning. In the dark night of the soul, it’s always three o’clock in the morning. They say it’s the darkest right before the dawn, but what if the sun isn’t coming? Was the sun ever here in the first place? It must have been, but I don’t remember it. Everything is so still here, in this place where the sun never rises. The ocean is even calm tonight, at least on the surface. The water doesn’t ripple and there’s a certain stillness that radiates through the tide. It’s an ink blanket that flows smoothly over the shore and then draws back with perfect fluid motion. The shadow that stands on the beach is me and I stand there watching the water alone. This is how it’s always been and how it was supposed to be, but if I look to my right there are footprints in the sand. At one time someone stood here with me. Their absence disturbs me more than I’d care to admit, even to myself, and I look back out over the water. It looks like ink and it looks like blood. It’s too dark for me to tell that it’s just water. Waves crash on the shore, absolutely silent, and I wonder who has stolen the sound from this world. My eyes turn to the stars and I almost cry, but smile instead. You’re here, but not here, in everything around me. A light breeze blows across the sand and my skin, it’s whispers become your voice. I’m always with you. Rain begins to fall from an ebony sky and leaves drops across my skin. It feels like the flutter of lips across my body and it makes me shudder. I know that I can’t stay here, but I could watch the stars in the rain all night. I won’t let myself. There are things that need to be done, a reality that requires my attention. I take a step back from the water and take a moment to look at the two sets of prints in the sand. My heart goes to them because I know that with time the tide will erase their meaning from everywhere, but my memory. So, I stand there long enough to remember their detail, someone has to, and then I walk away.