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Rated: 13+ · Other · Death · #1371629
This is a story about a man who is slowly dying and what he thinks of as he is ushered out
A cool crisp breeze slowly jostles his graying strands of hair with an accepted delicacy.  Leaning back onto the park bench his expression grows worried as the muscles in his face contort to express the agony raging in his brain.  His body moves slowly showing how he has aged and as he reaches into his breast pocket his face shows the agony of time on muscles.  Slowly he pulls out a box of cigarettes and he smiles ironically as he embraces his only remaining friend.  As he puffs on them he breathes life into his body and with the scent memories come crashing over his body with an overwhelming surge of remorse.  As he reminisces and his mind frolics through a lifetime of memories he looks up to calmly admire the graying sky.  The clouds surge through the November air with a sense of silent urgency. As he daydreams he thinks back to his youth, he thinks of how he wasted it and of how he always thought he was making the most of it.  He remembers her face, it has shrunk in his memory but with enough time and thought she is still as vibrant as he remembers from his twenties.  Regret is an emotion that he has learned to live with; he has worn it on his face, in his bones and in his tortured mind for decades.  Slowly, he pulls a drag deep into his longs embracing what he is sure will kill him soon.  With a sense of passion he thinks of how it could have been different.  Remembering her is always hard.

Sunlight slowly peeks through the shades of a dark and musty bedroom.  Opening his eyes at this hour is like torture.  A pang in his brain instantly ensues and he endures a headache that he knows will last for hours.  Slowly coming to, his vision begins to focus and he looks at her.  She is golden and beautiful in her awkward slumber, her face wears no concerns and the weight of the world that sits on her shoulders is no match for her inner strength.  As he gazes at her beautiful shape he slowly moves her dark brown hair from her face.  Her eyes are shut peacefully and her cheeks wear a rosy red that most women would spend hours in front of a mirror with an assortment of products in an attempt to emulate.  Her mouth is perfect and luscious, he wonders how this happened, how did he get so lucky.  As she awakens during his deep commitment to thought she smiles deeply and embraces him. 
Shaking back to reality he realizes there are places to be and things to do.  Rubbing the cigarette on the ground he pushes himself to match the intensity his body could withstand in his youth.  Being hard on himself has always been a part of his life; refusing to quit he has pushed himself to the top.  In his younger years the top is the only place he dreamt of.  At a young age he wore a determination that was matched only by his ferocity to educate himself and escape a place he had learned to equate with hell.  The cell phone in his pocket vibrates with vicious urgency and he ignores it.  His mind is still stuck on his youth.  Flurries start to fly from the gray sky and cascade slowly to the ground.  Big and thick they fall with a certain grace and anger that is hard to respect.  Collecting on his gray head he is sent back again, his memories stagger him and remove the cold air from his lungs.  Tears well in his eyes as he grips his knees, fear races through his brain and his muscles ache from the cold and from the years.  Checking the time on his wrist he amazed how time has slowed to a crawl, he begins to wonder if this is it.

The kitchen holds a yellow light and warm smell that separates it from the rest of the house.  For him it is a comfortable place, it reminds him of home, of his family, of everything he wished he still had.  He is bent over the sink working diligently.  The muscles in his back tense and release as he completes the minion like task before him.  Steam rises from the sink and hovers around his head.  To her he is like an Adonis, his body warm with lust and his mind calm with certainty.  She couldn’t imagine trusting another human as much as this man.  Quietly she creeps up behind him and slowly wraps her tiny arms around his muscular frame and embraces him with everything she has.  She buries her face into his back and feels his strength as he peels her arms away and turns to embrace her.  Lifting her off the ground she pours everything she feels into her embrace and he returns it with a controlled strength that she has never feared.  Setting her down he leans in with a kiss.  For them conversations are constructed through body language.  A hug or a kiss carries the weight of an intensely deep conversation and the bond between them has far out paced their age.  He can tell her more about himself, his life and his feelings for her with a kiss than he could ever put into words.  For this, she is grateful. 
Balancing on one knee the cold is attacking him with an unrelenting ferocity that he has never felt.  His arm aches with a pain that has never plagued him and the snow begins to cascade onto his still body.  Looking around blindly there is no one.  He reaches for the metallic device in his pocket that he has long resented and finds there is no dexterity in his limbs.  Unable to grasp, to call for help or to get up his mind races with a blind panic.  Slowly his mind takes him back to happiness; he has learned to escape in his many years.

The air is warm and the sun is intoxicating.  The alcohol slowly sets in as he raises the bottle to his mouth in a repeated action that has become second nature to him.  She calmly and collectedly buzzes around to set things up.  This is her element and he watches her and studies her happiness.  She is not questioning anything, she is content and she is sure.  On the outside he wears the same front, inside he is racked with doubt his self-consciousness can be debilitating.  A breeze slowly cools him in the hot August sun and love washes over his young body.  She approaches him with another amber beverage in her hand.  He smiles at her and pulls her in for an embrace and can’t help but to laugh out loud as she squeals with surprise.  Everyone here can see what he can not.  Shaking the thoughts from his brain he picks up a football and with confidence he zips it through a crowd of people.  She hears the sound of air over her head and turns to see him involved in a game.  Her mouth curls into a smile as she admires his strength and confidence.  She has never known anyone like she knows him and a sense of reassurance watches over her face.  He catches her staring and she blushes and so does he.  Together they have a chemistry that is unmatched and a bond that is unspeakable and the butterflies flutter.  Together they are happy.  Apart they are tortured.   

He regains some of his composure and raises himself to his feet.  Standing firm and straightening his back he wears an expression of determination.  His eyebrows are furrowed and the lines in his forehead show years of self imposed determination that are burned onto his face.  Unhurriedly he brushes the snow from his pants and shakes his head.  A breeze slowly chills his body even further and the trees shake with cold and fright from the impending storm.  The park has become deserted and he shares a moment with the only birds left for the winter left to scavenge on the remains of unlucky habitants.  Vibrating again he ignores the angry device in his pocket.  A sense of calm washes over him as the snow begins to slow.  For a split second he takes in the beauty, the calm.  Nature has always intrigued and mystified him.  Walking gingerly he follows the path to his car.  Breathing the cold air is almost therapeutic.  As he walks he feels a strange urgency creep into the back of his mind as his heart begins to race he finds himself on the ground again.  Struggling to breathe his eyes burn wildly and his jaw clenches.  His body writhes and his muscles strain.

He enters the crowded and smoky room.  His eyes search wildly until they find what they are looking for.  Together they are caught in a gaze that they have shared thousands of times.  For both of them the music drowns and the murmur of speech lulls.  To them there is nothing in this room except each other.  She sprints to him embracing him wildly burying her warm face in his cold chest.  He wraps her up and spins her, she squeals with pleasure.  They are happy now.  As they share an alcohol scented kiss the world stops and they whisper to each other.  His green eyes stare into hers with a wild intensity.  Her hand slowly slips down his side to meet his and they are interlocked and traveling as one out the door.  Walking back they slowly converse about the world and about life.  She is insightful beyond her years and he carries an intelligence that stuns her.  They squabble and make up. Their bond for each other has withstood years, miles and heartaches.  Apart they are lonely beyond reconciliation but together they are a force that many strain to understand.  He wonders if this is really what it should feel like and she calms him.  Words are not a necessity between them; they have connected on a level beyond speech.  She is able to instantly read his facial expressions and posses a knowledge of his inner workings that is so vast that she never stumbles.  In his face she sees a drive that can only scare her.  He is wild and untamable.  She is exactly the same.  Two giants in a sea of settlers they have found each other by some cosmic destiny at a very young age.  To naïve to know what they share is an incredible bond they plod through adolescence to adulthood together.  Changing they are determined and unsure at the same time.  Turbulence has become part of their life and in fitting way they feed from it.  Her rich brown hair is wisped in front of her face and he notices her true beauty.  She is pursued by many and he is confident.  They are young, they are happy and they are in love.  They stop to embrace and the ferocity brings tears to their eyes.  The intensity is earth shattering; but their youth keeps them from respecting it.

Making it to his feet he quickly strides to his car.  He knows what is happening.  The doctor warned him of this.  He is failing and he is doing nothing to stop it.  Refusing to reach into his pocket to call for help he convinces himself he can get through this.  To give in scares him more than anything.  Slowly he enters the front seat and turns the car on.  His body is failing and his mind is weak.  He can’t help but return to the one thing that has ever made him happy.  He hates himself.

Snow flakes slowly cascade to the ground and dim the glow of the street lights.  Gripping hands he transfers heat to her frozen hands.  They are tiny and frail and he grips them with an entirety that calms her.  As they shuffle together through the mounds of snow he stops her and pulls her in.  Taking her face in his hands he shows her passion without any words and the bond between them melts the snow beneath their feet.  Carefully he pushes the large snow cap from over her eyes and gazes into her blue eyes.  In them he sees more pain and happiness than should be possible for one human being to possess.  Guilt flows through his body.  Uncertainty slowly churns inside of him.  He is naïve and young.  She is wise beyond her years.  She pushes him, keeps him centered and focused.  He guides her and shows her the way.  As their twenties have began to pass they have already endured so much.  He loves her.  She is in awe of his raw power and strength.  They should accept it but they don’t. They can’t.  Youth is a powerful monster.  Inexperience fills their body with uncertainty.

Leaning back into the car seat he knows that this is it.  He grips the flask.  He asks for forgiveness.  He dials a number into his phone that is foreign.  It rings and his head bobs wildly.

Her face is red.  Her eyes are swollen.  The tissues around her are filled.  He sits across from her with a generic indifference that is not true of his feelings.  Their intensity is telling and their circumstances are difficult.  Reaching out he slowly places his hand on hers to calm her.  She lacks the ability to see clearly in times of distress and he lacks the ability to show the pain that he feels.  Silently her eyes ask him questions he will never be able to answer.  His eyes answer back with a sense of despair that his face is unable to emulate.  Crying out loud she questions him, why is he ruining this, why can’t he see what she sees?  The truth is that the bond between them scares him more than she will ever know.  His brain questions everything, it is his nature, and it has driven him and will drive him.  While he gazes at her she slowly sinks her head and her despair fills the room, her sadness could kill.  He is such a coward.

As a voice answers it shakes him back to reality.  He coughs loudly and responds in an almost inaudible voice.  She quietly speaks his name and it breaths life into him for only a minute.  She asks if he is ok and he musters a response that screams he is not.  Pleading with him to get help he quiets her and soothes her.  Slowly as his body begins to fail again he begins to speak.  He tells her everything.  It has been so long.  She weeps silently and he answers with the same response.  In the background he can hear children both grown and young.  His mind yearns to be there.  She tells him it will be ok.  He stops her.  They breathe loudly into the phone, the only sound breaking the silence.  Finally, as he begins to writhe in pain, he musters a question. 
         “Will you ever forgive me?”
         Unable to speak clearly she emits a response, “I have always loved you”

The air is gray and heavy.  She weeps.  Rain falls somberly to the ground.  She looks up and embraces it.  It takes her back.  She feels his hand in hers and her heart aches.  She watches as they lower him into the ground and breaks down.  Closing her eyes she can feel his strong embrace behind her and yearns for him.  He is gone.  Regret.
© Copyright 2008 Adrian Caccamise (fbartela at Writing.Com). All rights reserved.
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