“It’s been months since someone called me dad.”
I heard a crying man mutter at the abandoned city center, kneeling by a deep crater on the ground where it had all started.
Had it been a few months earlier, had I not held the cold dusty hand I had found under the relics of the house where I grew up, and seen the woman who had catered for my every need, who had always held my hand with greatest affection, had I not seen her eyes half shut blood oozing from ears; had I not watched my boyfriend, the man who had brought hope and happiness to me, an escape from every stinging loss I would feel trying to make it through the day, had I not watched him disappear as a crater similar to the one the man was kneeling by opened on one of the busiest streets, I could have empathized with him. I could have knelt by him and cried with him for his loss with greatest sympathy, but the energy I needed to mourn was consumed. I had none left for compassion.
Thus, I followed a stranger I had met a few months ago by a bus and looked away from the crying lonely man…