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A Wonderfully Horrible Thing
After I had once lost everything, a man in a pale yellow suit came to me and said, “I could fly your heart to happiness for the rest of eternity, if you grant me the rest of your time.”
It was tempting. Oh so tempting! But, unfortunately, I had to refuse.
“Why?” he asked. “Wouldn’t you like to come away with me and find peace at last?”
“I’d love to,” I replied. “With all my heart and soul. But I cannot. I am chained to this place of horrors and trapped by bonds I cannot sever.”
The kind man in the pale yellow suit looked at me with the deepest, saddest sympathy in his eyes. “This life you lead here could not even be called living. It is filled with pain and anguish and hate and despair. Why not come away with me and leave it all behind?”
His voice was as silky as honey and his eyes so filled with compassion that it was all I could do to decline. My heart stung. Oh how I wanted to go away with him! Run away forever with my wonderful yellow-clad lover. Soul-mate. Friend.
But I still could not. Why? Because of them. The thought still leaves an acrid taste in my mouth.
“If I were to leave, they would wonder,” I replied. “They would worry and come looking for me but never find me. They do not understand,” I said bitterly.
“You could try and make them understand,” he suggested, hopeful. But it was half-hearted. We both knew that they would never approve. If we wanted to be together, we would have to do it on our own, without their consent.
“They care about me,” I mumbled, choking on my words, “My friends and family. If I were to suddenly leave, they would be heartbroken. I know they would. I wish they did not care for me so. I wish I were free from their chains, but I am not. Because I know! I know that if I were to disappear, they would despair.”
“For that reason, I cannot be happy. I must continue to live this heartsick life. I want to be with you! More than words can describe! But they are my family. And they are my friends. So I must not be happy. For their sake. I am sorry. Please understand. Forgive me.”
During all the time I had been talking, the beautiful man in the pale yellow suit had said nothing. Now, he slowly nodded his head. His sparkling eyes had become pale, dejected. I looked into his face one last time, thinking of the love that might have been. Then, he slowly turned and walked away.
I wanted to call out to him! To tell him I had changed my mind! But…
The tears began to fall then, thick from my eyes. What had all my rapture been? Nothing! Had not my heart once fluttered at the very thought of him? Had not my mind once been filled with nothing but him? I was a traitor! Now, even if I called him back, it would never be the same.
I cried bitterly. For all that I had lost and all that I would never have.
When my sobs had finally eased a bit, I rose, whole body sore. I looked around my room and at the bed on which I sat. Nothing had ever changed and nothing probably ever would, as long as I was there.
“So,” I thought contemptuously, “Piety of passion, huh? Well aren’t I honorable?”
I was sullen and austere, but that was only to be expected.
Voices wafted up from downstairs, interrupting my brooding. I looked down at what was in my hand. “Well,” I thought feebly, “Might as well go all the way through.”
So I carried the little bottle into the bathroom and turned it over the toilet, watching all the pale yellow pills fall out. Down into the light, clear water.