They've removed my cast, which means forty days have gone by. Forty days without House, or his voice. I keep repeating to myself that if he were dead I would know but I'm not terribly convincing.
I wake up in the night to check my cellphone is fully on. No one calls. The long conversations with House in my head have gone from anger to sadness to longing. I wish he would give me any sign of life.
Nine weeks. Cuddy has been paid off and has retired her charges, House no longer needs fear penal consequences. I used my power of attorney, and now his stuff is in storage, along with most of mine. I'm trying to sell the condo and I'm renting a tiny place with as little memories as possible. It makes no difference. I still worry about him every evening, wake up every morning hoping to find a text message and am always disappointed. This morning I cried. It was the first time and I'm afraid it won't be the last.
Three months without House. The new Dean has downsized and moved the diagnostics department, which now consists of only Chase and Remy. I couldn't stand the sight of the janitor removing the name of House from the door and called in sick. Spent the day watching tivo'ed Monster Trucks. I don't know if I cried but I don't think so. I didn't eat, either. I've also written the letter of resignation as Head of Oncology and am working on a request of unpaid leave for personal reasons. My mother phoned and I told her all was well.
No news of House, four months. My leave starts next week, to begin with for a month. My office is packed. I did cry. Remy invited me to lunch, looked meaningfully at my eyes. She thought and thought. Then she told me "He's fine, you know. Just vacationing." She paused, searching for relief on my face. I'm not sure what she found. She added "I've heard from him more or less once a week, I'll let you know if anything changes." She didn't mention you coming back. She didn't hear the sound I made, or so I hope. I thanked her, then went to cardiology and got checked. My heart works fine, so the pain must be psychological. I cried again at the bar, in front of three empty vodka Martini glasses. The bartender was kind and smiling, but I'm not interested. I just want the damn pain to stop. I sent you three text messages today. I'm not sure why. As I toss in my bed all I can think of is Remy's smile. If you would call me once a week, would I not mind a death sentence? I do not know, cannot know. But I envy her. I imagine your voice as you greet her from a bar, describing some cute girl. As you used to do when we went drinking together. Would she tell you if I were sick? But I'm not sick.
I went through all the emails and texts I got from you since you broke up with Cuddy. It was painful and served no purpose. I still do not know why you did what you did, or where you are. Why you call her and not me. I don't know why I suddenly try to remember the spelling of judgeamental.
I drop the empty bottle on the passenger's seat. It's three am and raining. Soneone called from the hospital yesterday. It seems my leave was over and I didn't notice. I slept next to nothing last night, chatting with you about our next vacation together. I almost believed in it. I start the engine, then force my foot on the accelerator; the Volvo purrs, then roars. I resist the temptation to latch my safety belt, feeling very stupid. Maybe I should close my eyes? Call your name? I am so tired and drunk I don't quite remember what I'm doing, or why. The sound of your laughter, like tinkering silver bells in my memory, is the last one before a merciful darkness engulfs me.