Aurora

January 24, 2012
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Her name was Aurora, and like an Aurora Borealis she was beautiful. She shone through the night like a constellation of a thousand gleaming stars. When she smiled, the world smiled back. She was strong, but I don’t think even Hercules could have lifted the burden she carried. They said she was incurable and only had four months to finish off everything she wanted to do in life. She didn’t want to spend that time looking for a solution but rather looking for peace. She wanted to find peace in herself and those who knew her. We left the hospital and drove in silence to her parents’ grave that day. She kneeled down and breathed in the scent of the dirt and smiled. Then we left. That was all. It’s like she could hear them offer their forgiveness.
The day she died, I held her. I wrapped her in my weak arms and shed the tears that I hadn’t been showing her for the past four months. I kissed her cold lips for the last time still tasting her perfume on her body. Days later I made arrangements for her to be burned into ashes, like she wanted and she wanted me to decide what to do with her. How the hell was I supposed to decide what to do? This wasn’t fair. As if the heart break wasn’t enough I had to make the right decision as to what to do with her remains. I had to decide what she wanted without knowing what she wanted because she never talked about it. She was part of me like breathing, now half of me is left. Who am I to say she loved me? I know nothing anymore. My days are nights, and night’s days. Ever since the day she died, I walk alone at night. I walk through fields filled with flowers she loved, and through forests with trees we used to play in. Everything looked dimmer, and greyer. Her picture goes with me everywhere. In the picture she’s lying down on the grass, smiling up at me. Every day when I get dressed to go to work I look in the mirror and see only myself. If she really loved me wouldn’t she haunt me? Wouldn’t she sneak into my dreams and speak her sweet words to me? Wouldn’t she float in and out of our house and follow me everywhere I went? What do I know of this? I am just human. My days roll by as if there’s no point in distinguishing them. Nothing makes each day special like they used to be. Her ashes sit on my bedside table in a crystal earn. I feel like I am failing her by not spreading them somewhere. It just feels like nowhere can possibly be right. After thinking about everything for a long time, I decide to smile. Not just for her, but for me. She wouldn’t want me sulking around forever because of her. The next morning, I put on my uniform and go to work with a smile. People say hello for the first time in a long time. I get to reconnect with people who I had pushed out of my life before. It all felt right during the day, but when I reached my empty home and took my walks alone at night, the grief came rushing back and it was almost maddening. One day, while sitting at my cubicle, an old friend of mine sauntered over. “Hey there Jake, just wondering if you wanted to go get some drinks tonight.” I stared at her with a dumbfounded look. Going out for drinks would mean breaking my ritual of walking through me and Aurora’s memorable places. I smiled my big Jake-like smile and said, “Sure, I would love to. Where and when?” Darcy giggled, “The vine, 8-ish?” I nodded and she went back to her work. Darcy had always been a good friend of mine, but it was well known by now that she had other motives. I was okay with a one night stand or maybe even friends with benefits for a while to erase some of what Aurora left behind in my head. I put on a solid black v-neck, threw on my Nikes and headed out the door. Darcy was waiting outside and greeted me with a kiss on the cheek. We headed in and talked over a few drinks. She hadn’t touched the subject of Aurora all night. After so many drinks, she leaned in and whispered “Your place or mine?” I opted to mine, because I didn’t want to have to drive home afterwards. We stumbled through the door and started taking each other’s clothes off. Her lips found mine and harshly kissed me. We fell onto the bed and then it was over before it even began. I rolled off of her and my eyes met Aurora’s ashes. I couldn’t help but burst into tears. Darcy sat up and looked shocked, “Oh my god, what did I do? Did I hurt you? Was I too much?!” I just shook my head and she followed my gaze over my shoulder to the earn. She laid a hand on my shoulder and closed her eyes. I asked her if I could just hold her until morning and she complacently agreed. She slept soundly while my tears trickled down from my face onto her neck and back. How could I ever even think that I could replace Aurora? In the morning Darcy gathered her things and kissed my cheek again. This kiss was different. This wasn’t the “hello, I’m flirting with you” kiss it was the “goodbye and I’m sorry” kiss. She left me and I felt the loneliness set in. I just went back to bed and slept the day away. I woke up just as the sun was going down and decided I needed to do something with Aurora. I took her ashes and went on my walk. I walked through the fields and forests and finally came to one tree. The tree looked familiar and greener than the rest. It had long extended branches and moss covering the bottom. I circled it and noticed something etched into it. It was a heart with our names in it. The memory came rushing back. We spent the night under this tree after we ran away from the world. We vowed to get married here and bring our kids back here. The anger flooded me. In a sudden fit of violent rage, I threw the earn on the ground and watched the crystal shatter into a thousand tiny pieces. I let the tears fall on my face like the rain that had started falling from the sky. Her ashes were spread on the ground amidst the shards of crystal. Even in death and decay her beauty never ceased to amaze me. I wondered if I had done good. If this is where she wanted her ashes spread. My tears mixed with the rain and fell onto her remains. I whispered her name. “Aurora” and watched a rainbow fill the night sky.





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