Soft and faded from years of being beaten in the dryer, with holes around the arms and frayed edges, it is only ever worn during chores or dirty jobs.
It smells like him, this old blue t-shirt, even freshly laundered. Even if I’ve worn it the last dozen times. I hope it smells like him forever.
He looks at me sideways when I put it on. It’s His shirt. I just smirk because he never makes me to take it off.
I know he loves it. Maybe that is why I do, as well. It makes me feel close to him. It makes me feel like part of him. It makes me feel like His.
I’ve stopped wearing it but have it in my closet. I don’t know how much longer it has. It’s tattered and over worn. But it is perfect, and I don’t want it to disappear.
He asks about it, so I pull it out, not wanting to be deceitful, only wanting it to remain in tact.
He gazes at me with his pale, sad eyes, perplexed. I can’t explain it, it will sound morbid…
But he wants me to.
“It’s your favorite shirt. It has memories of you in every stitch. But it’s almost gone. And when you’re gone, I’ll need it… I don’t want it to disintegrate… before…”
He stares at me, steps close to me and reaches down for the hem of my short nightie, lifting it over my head. When he slides the old shirt down over my hair, I automatically pull my arms through the sleeves, gazing at him in wonder.
He takes my hand, then, pushing me towards the mirror, he wraps his arms around me from behind.
“You keep the shirt, sweet girl. When I’m gone, you will have it, but you won’t need it.”
He places his hand across my heart, over the super thin fabric that hangs from my breasts, unflatteringly. He whispers, low and sweet in my ear. “I’ll forever be inside here.”
He turns me to face him and grasps my head between his hands. “I’m in here too, in the deepest crevices of your mind. Our souls are mixed. Together or apart, we are linked. My absence will only, ever, be temporary. Because I could never stay away from you for long… You are precious to me, sweet one. Even death won’t keep me from you.”
He steps back, tugging the old rag off of me, then pulls me into his arms. His fingers tangle in my hair as he tips his forehead to mine. I stroke his lovely beard and breath him in, soaking his presence into every pore, and waiting for the kiss that makes us one.
His kiss doesn’t come, though, because he’s already gone. Memories of him haunt my dreams. My love for him haunts me, overflows my heart, and guides my life.
I feel the shredded edge of his shirt, too worn to even wear anymore. And I smile, because I know he was right, and we won’t be apart for long.
Well meet again tonight, in my dreams. And soon enough, in eternity…
I saw this photo and article weeks ago, and had a dream that inspired me to write this. It is fiction.
I’m not one to wear my husband’s shirts or old tattered clothes, because I love pretty things and prefer to wear flattering things.
But I long for this kind of closeness. I long to feel this attached. I think most women do.
The symbolism is intense.