I suppose that most every couple has affectionate pet names that they call each other. Names like Honey, Baby, Sugar, and Sweetheart. And I am sure that she and I used many of those names and others during our days and nights together. But the one that stands out the most, and always will, is Sunshine. She could say, "Hey Sunshine" in her cheerful voice, ever so full of life, and it would completely illuminate my whole day, completely change my mood. "Sunshiiine," she would stretch it out in her sad, pleading voice, if we were fighting. And it would break my heart. And I could not ever really be angry with her for anything. It was always just silly stuff. Just making up stuff to be mad about. How sad and stupid and foolish that was. I know that I have and will use names like baby and sugar and sweetheart and darling time and again. But I will never call anyone else Sunshine. And I hope that she will not, either.
Two or three years after I lost her, I was leaving for work one cold February day. For some reason, I noticed a little patch of snow just by the side of the building. It was only a small area, maybe twenty square feet, at most. It had snowed two days before, and not much at that. As is typical in Alabama, it had been just enough to cover the tops of the cars and most of the ground. And it struck me as strange that this patch of snow was still here. For it was a sunny day, and all of the other snow had melted from the roads and the cars and the grass and the trees. It was gone. But here was this small bit that had survived the winter sun in the shadows on the north side of the building. And all at once, I had the thought that my feelings for her were like this unmelted snow.
Not supposed to be there.
Should have been gone by now.
But still, there it was. Hidden from most everyone. Almost entirely unnoticed.
Surviving in the absence of Sunshine...
"I keep seeing pictures now of me and her and those summer nights. My mind fills with her. Oh, but it's alright, cos I laugh everytime I start to think about us..."