Time. That infinite, indefinite presence that lies ahead of you.
It offers up all your possibilities, all your hopes and all the things you put off today because, of course, you can do them tomorrow. It repeats itself, a constant clock ticking. It’s ever there, as sure as the sun rising on a rainy New Years day. It offers hope, future, newness.
I had so much time. Time to come. Things to be done. Lists to tick. We had all the time in the world to talk things through, mull things over, make amends, make resolves, say what I really wanted to say, air the important things. My lifetime and Beth and Izzy’s lifetime stretched endlessly on in front of us all.
And we planned and they schemed. All 5 of us were going skiing this Christmas. For sure. Izzy was scheduling her stationary shopping trip for Uni, her place secured, her halls booked. Beth was, well, as was Beth, thinking of travelling somewhere, not sure where, after Izzy came home (April 13th 2016, Flight EY021 from Abu Dhabi, Manchester Terminal 1). In a Skype call they announced their next trip was to Iceland. Cue joke about frozen food stores.
That was then. That was Before.
Now is now. Now is After.
Time has been reset, remeasured.
Now, time stretches on ahead, in endless, directionless slow motion, whilst they are fixed, frozen in a moment, forever 19 and 24, forever young. And the gap between Before and After gets ever wider as the weeks and the months and soon, the years roll on.
For the record, no, time isn’t the great healer.