Moths – a Short Story

The moths came when you left.

They flutter over furniture and between clothes like half-forgotten touch. They startle from behind the pillow when I move, and cover the doorknob as though not willing to let me go. As though you were not willing to let me go.

Or maybe too willing, and could never forget the last-time feel of my bedroom knob on your palm.

The moths don’t leave and don’t reproduce, but they also don’t die. They go gray, fading in color along with your memories (or are they mine?), some of them nearly white with details lost and bad times forgiven.

If I open the door, I think they will fly away. If I open the door, I think my memories will fly away, too.

Is life truly better with you gone? I no longer know.

The moths nibble my clothes the way you nibbled my ego, eroding clean linens and erasing straight seams until all is worn and frayed and dull. And I, uninteresting, fade like moth-wings and memories on the bed that we once shared.

Someday, you’ll come back to me. When you do, my memories will swarm you, nibble your clothes and skin and hair, and fill their fluttering wings with the blush of recollection and warmth from your blood.

Don’t worry. It won’t hurt.

Just ask the moths.