Its 4:30 am and I can't sleep again. I have had problems sleeping all my life, but more so since I'm alone. I get out of bed, brew the strongest coffee I can find in the house, sit down in my empty kitchen and start sipping my delicious concoction as I ponder on an idea that has been itching at me for a couple of days now: clear out Louise's belongings. Procrastination no longer an option, I breathe in deeply, stand up and, with wobbly legs, climb up the stairs to the second floor, walk directly to the bedroom wardrobe, open up Louise's half of closet and stare with mock defiance at all the clothes that once were hers. Every pretty dress, classy suit, delicate blouse, pair of pants or shoes speaks to me; tells me a story, and the sight of them makes Louise's absence utterly real. With a shaky hand, I reach in and unhook one of her favorite garment, a soft turquoise silk blouse that she proudly wore so often. As I bring it closer to me, I am inundated by the delightful scent of her perfume still impregnating the garment, l'Air du Temps, a fragrance that she wore so well it's as if it was created especially for her. This moment breaks my resolve and I cannot hold back my tears as I lovingly brush the delicate fabric of her blouse across my face, losing myself in her soothing scent one more time.
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