This a short story about a breif reunion between long lost lovers, who find peace.
|"It's cold, the air mixed with faintly blue cigarette smoke coming from my lungs lingers in the air as it crystallizes. The cold burns my face, the smoke burns my throat. But I don't really care, my physical discomfort is actually the last thing on my mind.|
I am not even thinking about how beautiful the snow is, as it falls to the earth creating a seamless and perfect white blanket over the dark silent world. The snow flakes dip in and out of the orange glow cast off by a procession of street lights, making everything white as if to wash away all memory of past transgressions and sin.
Mechanically my frozen hand rises to my lips to take the cigarette from them as I unconsciously exhale another cloud of smoke. I look ahead, the orange glow of the deserted street is broken by patches of colorful light, must be fucking Christmas.
I have lost track of time, as if I cared what time it was. More to the point, and more disturbingly, I do not know how long I have been walking aimlessly on these silent snow covered streets. My only indicators of time lost are a nearly empty pack of cigg's and a lack of feeling in my face and hands.
Some small piece of my mind tries to track back through the string of events that have brought me here, but I recall it back to the present before it can discover the truth. The truth is, I do not want to know. The expanse of a winters dark sky above of me and the deserted world I walk in are all I wish for. Behind closed doors family's sit together sharing story's, laughing and celebrating. Good for fucking them.
Snatches, bits and pieces of broken song play through my mind unbidden, almost unwelcome. They echo a deeper rhythm within me, the same broken rhythm that brought me here.
Pieces of my heart, metaphorically speaking float around in the shell I call my being. Colliding painfully and pushing away from each other to try and burry them selves in some dark recess of consciousness, and I hope they make it there.
That feeling grabs my body again and rattles the hallow cage of it, I am told it is called despair. Or maybe it was the small gust of cold wind that blew smoke into my eyes. Despite my hallow, searching stare, or my detached and expressionless face, I feel a great many things. The part of me that still worked, like a pre programmed robot analizes this oddity once more for me as I watch it work. I am in a state of shock, or perhaps pain to deep to express. My body goes on functioning, but my mind is locked away some where, running ceaselessly from it's tormentor. Only problem is, I did this to myself.
Many things brought me here, what pushed me over the edge is another story. One my fractured mind runs immediately away from. I silence my mind until it's screaming dies down to a distant cry. I notice my body has turned, taking me down another street on an unending circuit.
A rouge piece of my mind travels back in time, and this time I can't bring it back. As if strapped down to a chair in a theater with my eyes stapled open I watch again what I wish I had never seen.
It's summer, and it's hot. Though it's evening and the sun is setting waves of warm caressing heat still rise off of the asphalt and side walk. It's beautiful. And I am walking down the same road, younger, sane, whole.
Then I see her, and I wrench my mind away from what would have come next. Breaking away from a piece of my mind itself. I sit back, so to speak, as my body keeps walking and I prepare for the emotional fireworks display of which I will be the target. Literally. I let the first wave of guilt wash over me, the once gut wrenching pain that fallows seems more manageable, until the regret rips me from inside with claws the leave me feeling like I have internal hemorrhaging inside.
I am not prepared for what comes next, even though it happens every time. Hope, of all things stabs me with a fucking cherry red hot fire poker and I recoil even physically this time from the sensation. I tell myself I won't hope, I tell myself I can not. The survivalist in me runs a painful reality check on this rebel spark of hope and puts out any embers of it that might still be glowing.
I ask myself as I have a million times, "What have I become ? Why has this happened ? Am I weak ?" I cling to the pain that is still bouncing around inside of me, hitting little pieces of my heart and breaking them into finer particles. How do you explain this sick relationship ? I can't let go of this pain, it's all that keeps me from fading from the present. The pain is quite literally the only friend I have now, the only one I talk to, the only one that will listen. I notice that my smoke has burned out, either my hands are too numb for me to have felt the burn or I was too far gone to feel it. Either way, I reach clumsily into my pocket with stiff fingers and pull out another.
I feel it, I am avoiding it... so I prepare for the mental process, and eventually I let go. Shields down, the past comes in full force and kicks me where it really hurts, and I let it. Why ? Because a part of me is happy, even if that part of me only lives some where in a time that is forgotten. It remembers, and walks down the same roads I am, back in that summer delighting in the warmth as I grow numb in the winter cold. I let it remember how she felt in my arms. How innocent and carefree it all was. I even let it remember what her lips tasted like, I let it touch perfection and then show that innocent part of me how I fucked it all up. I make it sit still and petrified as I replay her broken voice again and again, pleading. I make it stay for the whole damn show and then I throw that kid who was once me into the corner and emotionally kick his face in for getting us here.
A part of me reminds another part that my little masochistic ritual is over, that I have a family waiting for me somewhere, that I need to go play human again. But I don't listen. I savor my suffering, wishing it were worse, wanting the weak part of me that still loved her to finally let go and die.
Something jerks me back to the present. One of my physical senses registers something my mind was want to neglect. Before I even make it out some part of me which knows sends out a silent alarm. That's right, I don't listen...
Pulling my mind out of the hell I routinely send it to I make it focus on the present. Ahead of me on the snow covered sidewalk stands a silent quivering figure. I play a quick game of mental acceptance and repeated rejection of what my eyes are telling me, but eventually I surrender to what I hope is not true.
She is standing there, just out of the orange halo of light cast by a street light. Perfect snow flakes rest on her hair, they are not melting on her face either...
I almost bring a hand up to my lips to stop the words that are trying to come out. My eyes meet hers and I wonder if this is real... Her face is no longer full, the dark shadows around her eyes are bigger. Her frail body is even thinner, but her grey eyes are still the same. I expect to see that cold edge in them, the unspoken judgment for what I had done to her. But it's not there, a shadow or faded echo of that light that once made them shine is greeting me apprehensively.
She finally breaks the silence, along with my last hope that I had finally died or gone insane. "How are you ?" She asks me. That robot in my mind tells me that her voice is weak, that she has dropped her guards. There is no reproach in the question, only a coy sincerity. Thank god, I find that I can open my mouth... "Jesus, who the hell cares ? You must be fucking frozen." I want to hold her, I want to put my pathetically thin jacket on her shoulders... That robot tells me my voice is even more weak than hers, that I showed to much concern for her, that I meant those words to much. It tries to remind me that the last thing I told her was that I couldn't care less if she lived or died...
She just looks into my eyes, a bit of fear makes it's way through my internal chaos of emotions. I can't identify that look in her eyes. She smiles at me. My mind starts registering all the subtle facts, I reject the conclusion before it comes.
That fool inside starts begging me to grab her and hold her tight, to make sure nothing else, including myself would ever hurt her again. I silence him. She must have seen some physical expression of this internal struggle, because she takes a step closer.
Damn it. The survivalist in me throws his hands up in the air and tells me to fuck off as he sighs in resignation. I do grab her, I do hold her close. My throat shuts up tight though, and I can't tell her anything. I can't tell her that she just brought me back to life by just being here... I can not tell her how sorry I am. I can not tell her anything. All I can do is hug her frozen body close to mine and wish the world and reality would pack there bags and fucking go.
The robot tells me what's coming next. The fool in me attacks him and tells him to shut up. As they fight I try to pull away, but find that I am no more capable of that than going back in time and fixing everything. My frozen lips find her own. Some remnant of the old me, the proud judgemental me, tries to remind me about what she has become. The words "Drug addict", "whore", "dieing" float through my mind and I push them all away. Not a single part of me cares.
I realize in no small measure of shock that I have just told her that I love her. She hugs me tighter, as tight as her body can. Once more I feel our hearts connecting, after being alone for so long. As if blind in the darkest pit of hell and finally placed in heaven. Once more everything is right, and nothing matters but the moment.
I don't know how long this lasts.
All the feverish whispers, confessions, forgiveness, exchanges of regret fade away. Our lips part..
And I look down to see a small pistol in her waist band.
She smiles, like she did when we're kids, she looks whole again, complete. But this time not even the fool in me is brave enough to hope that anything will ever be ok. I kiss her again, she holds me tight. I can feel it, after all these years at least one of us will be free.
She opens her eyes, still smiling angelically at me and whispers so softly I can barely hear it over the falling of the snow. "I love you. Your the one, we only get one soul mate, and no matter what happened in between, at least I found mine."
She closes her eyes I again, I can feel something between us slipping away. The nod of her head is subtle, but it registers, and I step back. She speaks in a whisper... "Do you remember that summer we met, right about where we are now?" I can't say anything. Nothing I had felt before was pain compared to this. So I wish with my all heart for her to forgive me. That gentle smile on her lips gets just a little bigger.
"I couldn't think of a better place to... say goodbye to it all." I want to scream... I want to do something, anything, but I can't bring myself to move.
The gun shot shatters the perfect silence, and after she hits the sidewalk, it some how leaves things even more quite than before. For now.
This time I smile, And let everything go. Mindlessly I bend over,
The bloody gun barrel comes up to my temple.
I don't hear the gun shot.