Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Watch Me As I Fall

Mood:  frustrated, tired.
Hating:  this paper I'm suppose to be writing.
Loving:  that classes might be canceled tomorrow; yay snow!...But not really...
Lip-syncing:  Ry Cuming -- Always Remember Me



He’d always been fascinated by circles. Even as a child, the lack of corners and continuous lines were always incredibly interesting. Circles carry weight, and meaning. They can be full, or empty. They represent eternity; never-ending. Life isn’t.
He could feel the rain splatter against his face through the opening in the woods. He want this to be secluded, where no one will be able to find him, at least not immediately anyways. This is the perfect place.
It's storming, the sky full of foreboding clouds, blocking out the sun though it is nowhere near nightfall. He takes one last look at the dark greens of the pine needles and the rich browns of the tree trunks. If all went as planned, it would be the last thing he saw. Though some might find it dark and somewhat depressing, the scenery is rather beautiful. The rain is essential, seeming to match the immense emotion drowning him.

He closes his eyes, trying not to picture her face in his mind. It had been haunting him ever since that dreadful day, seemingly so long ago. But the image still comes; her long flowing hair, her soothing soulful eyes, her soft voice whispering in his ear. With his sight shut off to the world, he can still feel her with him, as if she was never missing from his life in the first place. But the reality was that she, in fact, was gone – taken away from him on a night much like this one, by the cruel, snapping jaws of death.

He sighs, shaking his head to attempt to rid his thoughts of her. It brings too much heartache, and yet he never want to look at anything but her. She was an angel, perfect in her imperfections. He longs for her, even now.
He brings his hand up to his head, the muscles of his arm rippling from the extra weight gripped between his fingers. Without opening his eyes, he could feel the smooth, cold metal raise slight goose bumps along his skin. The circle of the barrel rests against his temple. His right hand begins to shake as the rain pours down harder. He can hear the rolling thunder in the distance and, even with his eyes closed, can see the white flashes against the darkness of his mind as the lightning strikes. Taking one last breath, he grips the trigger, his finger threatening to slip.

It was a rainy night, the road slick with water. They were coming back from dinner, celebrating their four year anniversary, the wipers on high, whipping the water off the windscreen. Their hands were linked together over the center console of the car, fingers interlocking perfectly. It was always the little things that made him realize she was meant for him, which was why this night was such a crucial one. I glanced over.
   "What?" she asked innocently.
   "Did you enjoy yourself tonight?" I asked, looking at the road momentarily before facing her again.
   "Yes, I did. But I think I'll have more fun once I get you back home," she spoke, a sweetness coating her voice, but with a mischievous glint in her eyes. I felt her hand squeeze mine once and smiled back at her, looking toward the road.

I thought about the black velvet box in my pants pocket, knowing that whatever was on her mind was going to have to wait. Just a little while more. The mere thought of what I was going to do once we arrived home brought a grin once again to my face along with a fluttering in his stomach.

We were almost home, at the intersection that was just five blocks from it coming up as I drove. I had no idea what was about to happen, but if I could have changed it, I would have. Glancing over as we reached the intersection, I saw the blinding headlights. The next thing I knew, my hand was being ripped from hers, my body slamming into the door as the car spun out of control.

It was a tumultuous whirlwind; the screeching of metal, the shattering of glass, the startled cries filling the air. After what seemed like minutes, the car finally squealed to a stop. Everything was silent, save for the pattering of rain. My eyes were closed, a searing pain swimming in my head. I could feel a cool breeze lazily brushing against my cheek.
I slowly opened my eyes, coming face to face with the steering wheel, my airbag not deployed from the impact. My first coherent thought ran straight to her and, despite the splitting pain in my head, I turned to her quickly.

I couldn’t seem to stop shaking, but I managed to raise my quivering arm across the console. She was in the seat, crunched between the console between us and the door. Her head was hung limp, her body slouched forward. I presumed the seat belt was the only thing keeping her upright. The window to her door was smashed in, glass littering the flesh on her right side, from what I could make out. I called out to her, panic seizing my body as I reached my hand out to her shoulder, shaking her gently. Her head rocked to the side, lying at a funny angle from her neck. There was a trail of blood coming down the side of her head from the top of her face; there was a gash wound right at the hairline. The pit of my stomach dropped as I swallowed hard. 

My door was jammed shut but after a few forceful kicks, I was able to get out. I dug in my pocket for my phone, instantly dialing the emergency number programmed into most children's heads. The call was rushed; I had no idea how the man on the line could even understand a single word I said. It seemed like forever before the ambulance arrived. I had repeatedly tried to get the passenger side open, but it was crunched tightly together with the rest of the car from the accident.
It was then, after giving up, that I noticed the other car - the one that hit us. It was only a few yards away from me and as I neared it, I could hear incoherent mumbling and moaning emitting from the driver. I wanted to rip his body from the car and show him what he had done, but the sound of sirens and the nearing ambulance drew my attention back to her motionless body, lying in the car like an abandoned rag doll.
Doing their jobs, the paramedics quickly exited the ambulance, rushing to the car as I stood there and watched without a sound, slowly becoming drenched in rain as it continued to fall all around. I observed them from my position as they crawled to her from the driver's side, knowing just by looking that her door couldn’t be forced open. I didn’t even feel my feet move, carrying me back to her as a policeman approached the other car.
I was within earshot of the paramedics. They weren't doing anything in an attempt to get her body from the car, and I was confused. That was, until I heard three little words that changed everything.
   "She's already gone," one of them said. I suppose I already knew deep in my heart even before the meds arrived that she was gone, but hearing the words from someone else made it seem all the more real.
He was placed in a black body bag on the wet pavement, and I caught one last look at her beautiful face, smeared with blood, before the zipper was pulled up.
The last thing I cared to remember from that stormy night was turning to see the driver of the other car with his hands behind his back, an officer cuffing them together. His eyes met mine, but I could not make out the emotions I found. I'm sure he could see the pure hatred I felt toward him just by looking at me though. And then he was carted away, thrown into the back of the police car, and I never saw him again. Not that I would have wanted to anyways. He took away the one thing that mattered more than anything else in the world to me, and for that, he could never be forgiven.
The depression I slipped into following the accident was painful enough to rival the actual events of that night. I had gotten away with mere scratches on my arms and a bruised kneecap. But she received the full blow. And I regretted that. If I could have changed anything about that night, I would have taken longer to pay the bill, or gone to the bathroom, or even would have made her drive. As cliche as it sounded, I'd have rather given up my life so that she could live. It would have been better than the torment I went through for a solid month. 

I'd think of nothing but her during the day and would pray relentlessly for sleep to consume me, only to find that she haunted my dreams. I'd wake up and see her lying next to me, peacefully asleep, but it was never real. Just an illusion before my eyes that my head made up to somehow ease the pain. But it didn't help; if anything, it just made it all worse. It was as if I were tormenting myself, showing her to me, knowing I could never have her back. The pain and suffering ate away at me until finally, I had decided enough was enough. It was time to end it.

He drags himself from the bed on this overcast day and peers under it to the metal safe box. He knows full well what lies inside of it. He pulls out the safe, unlocks it, and comes face to face with his nightmare and saviour. As he had stares, the demon refracts what little light had struggled through the dingy curtains he never bothered to opened anymore. She never saw it. No one even knew about it, yet he couldn’t bring himself to get rid of it. It was the tiny little bit of her he had left. He grasps it so tightly that the razor-sharp edges of the ring setting would pierce through his skin, reflecting a minuscule amount of his emotional pain. And with his other hand, he traces his salvation. His index finger lightly ran down the side of the barrel. A shiny silver pistol, with his name written all over it. 

Wiping the trails of tears from his cheeks, he reaches down and picks the gun up. It's heavy and smooth beneath his fingers and gives him a feeling of reassurance, that once everything was over it would all be okay. He would be okay. It would be okay. All of it. And that was all the reassurance he needed to get the job done.

So he leaves the house.
The answering machine in the kitchen is blinking madly, loaded
with unreturned calls. Why would he bother with the machine if it wasn't her calling him? He let it be. He wants to live out his own life to the very last day. This very last day.

He marches through the back yard, out to the farthest reaches of the property, and then even further past the line of trees. It starts to rain, the clouds quickly closing in over top of him, almost as if nature knew what was about to take place. But he keeps going. He's searching for that place; the tree-less rounded patch of land right in the middle of the forest. It was their spot. And that's how he ended up here, all alone, with nothing but a pistol pressed against his head.

The thunder crashes around him once more, and he jumps, startled from the noise. He wants to open his eyes but he doesn’t, because this is the end. This is final. He didn’t want to open them and see something that might draw him away from what he needed to do.

And then he hears it. Her voice. It's far off, almost like she's come to find him, trying to get him to come back to her. It isn't in his head this time, and he almost feels that if he just opened his eyes, he would see her, standing just a few feet away, beckoning him to her.

The lightning strikes and the thunder roars again. The rain dripping down his hand and the gun causes his finger to slip and he squeezes harder, trying to tighten his grip on the trigger. He has two circles with him now. Circles are infinite; never broken. Life-changing.

Like an engagement ring.

Or the end of a gun barrel.

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