They don’t forget about you. They pine but they don’t forget or stop loving you when you have to go. Self-imposed exile is still exile.
He was going home to see his cat.
He woke up with a strange feeling – this was the first time he had remembered a dream in years and it was a nightmare. The medication was wearing off.
The cat. It had jumped up on his bed next to him and started probing with its head for a stroke, for some love and attention. When he did the cat responded with a purr.
Then it turned its head and he saw the missing eye. He’d never noticed that before! He looked closer and decided he couldn’t tell if the eye was missing or if the eyelid was simply infected and sealed shut by gunk.
He decided to call his Mum, she would know what to do.
Then he remembered she was dead. He had missed her funeral at the time.
Then he awoke.
We are cursed with a sentence for neglecting love when it is offered us.