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Warm sunlight hit the city with such a presence every soul noticed the change from the stormy night filled with loud roars of thunder and the strong impact of tears that cried over the sleepless community. Not did one ever lift a finger as soon as the last drop hit the concrete surface marking the end of the sky’s battle where the mother of nature served as the control of all. Finally the bright warm missed sun slowly risen from where it hid so timidly and afraid overtaken by the overwhelming attack fired from enemy lines. In the earliest hours the treaty was signed, rays slowly reaching the crust of the large earth, creating the most natural, the most glorious light beginning with the beautiful hues of spring morning.
Illuminating the narrow passage she slowly stepped into a place she dreaded. A place where each step she took led her to the cruel and lonesome reality of it all. The soft brown locks scattered around her small fox like face from her journey to the desired location, the faintest flush mixing in the with the churning of emotions within the internal doldrums. The clothes on her back slightly damp and smelling of the fresh rain, a morning dew that was translated to the human form- leaving such a natural essence to the wavering scent lingering with each traveled distance so far. Soles hitting the clean floor before the tips of her toes could hold pressure of her step, making sure not a sound would attract any on goers lurking at the time of her traveling mission.
The light shone through the closed windows, sheer drapes causing the faintest source of guidance rearing away any doubts she pertained to the long hallway, the darkness was seeping at the end where it hid many of the negative thoughts and a whirlwind of confusion in her mind. With each step she could feel her heart race, this burning that did not constitute to a medical condition or a faint diagnosis of heart burn. None of that. It was a sensation all so new, only having felt it once in her long life. One time which involved a depart and the most heartbreaking goodbye. Maybe this is just the start of the old wound ready to be ripped open she thought to herself holding onto the thin silver necklace dipping right at the center of her heaving chest.
Her step increased in speed as well as her breathing, hearing the desperate sound of her inhale and exhale of a factor of life, blood rushing through her veins in large amounts feeling as if she were an overworked machine ready to unravel at an unexpected time. She had been waiting for this moment. She had been dreading this moment. She wished this moment would never come, for if it did, she didn’t know what would happen. How she could continue living in this world without him existing with her, not knowing he was breathing and living would be something she could not deal with. Time had past where she enjoyed the calm before the storm for as long as she could remember, time going by at an excruciating pace where the tick of every passing minute would mock her.
At that moment she wanted time to stop, not heading forward but not rewinding back from the start. The last door on her right. Distance had grown smaller with the several steps of assistant bringing her to the last place she wanted to be. But she needed to do this. She had to do this. The door held a light hue of the wood creating the block at the doorway, a small window strategically situated right at eye level to where she stood, her 5’ 7 measurement causing an instant eyelevel to peek through.
He was inside.
The path to her airway hitched ever so slightly at the dark figure molded, a profile instantly hitting her with such a strange sensation. Ever so cautiously the petit hand held onto the knob, twisting clockwise until the barrier opened revealing the open space for her to enter. The smell of disinfectant came into contact with her nostrils. Clean. Everything and everywhere was clean from the white tiled floors to the small table placed in the dark corner of the ivory room. A picture perfect stereotypical hospital room, holding the peace needed for care and healing. In this case there was an elephant in the room. Prodding her. Ticking. Breathing. Living at the moment.
Green eyes casted at the figure lying on the bed, white linens covering the body resting, far from peaceful from the staggering intakes of oxygen. Sobbing in a restful state. Her body moved like fluid to his side blocking the intake of sunlight streaming through the open window. Seated in the closest piece of furniture in sight those first moments held such déjà vu, such memories while examining the man in front of her. Sixty five years had aged the youthful soul that she remembered, his face tired and worn out holding years of fatigue from past obstacles and tragedies. Once strong and powerful anatomy weakened by hard work of the mind, body and soul. He had been through so much since she had seen him decades ago and he was still breathing. How many times, too many times to count where she wanted to give up all hope, wanting to be taken away from the world around her although it was impossible. From the world she entered she had traveled to many others where kings ruled to presidents, experiencing more than enough whether she had wanted it or not. There was no escape, her life eternal to the prospect unimaginable.
“I want to be with you forever.”
The words played over with the voice begging, a record of the most difficult time to date. He had wanted to be with her forever, he had said it. Compared to the years she had lived, he was still so naive having a life that needed to be lived. She had so desperately wanted to take his words and lock them into her heart, have him be with her forever. It was selfish. No matter how hard she hurt, no matter how many times she attempted to be set free from the sentence put against her innocent self, no matter how much she wanted him, she let him go. Far from hard, a galaxy away from easy he had done what she had said. The words spoken sixty five years ago still fresh in her mind as if it had left her mouth not to long ago.
“I want you to love. Find someone who is worthy of your heart and can make you extremely happy. I want you to have children to fill your home, who can carry on your name and your life beyond the many years to come. I want you to live until you’re one hundred having gone through life to the best it can be. If you love me, you will do what I ask.”
A small groan left his lips as he shifted on the mattress facing her. The action alone looked labored and uneasy causing ligament to ache causing him pain with every second at passing. Holding her breath she could prayed to the highest above her to give her any notification for what was to happen. She was scared to the depths of her soul, uncertain throughout the whole journey leading to this moment.
“I love you.” He sobbed holding onto her arm, the only anchor to the drifting situation that was close to being forever gone at any slip.
“You don’t know what you feel.” She whispered, his hand burning through her. “We’ve…one month. That’s how long we’ve been together. You can’t love me like that.” She sighed not surrendering to his claims, to his heart.
“Don’t you dare question my feelings for you. One month, one year, one decade, it’s all the same! My heart aches all the same.”
“In time it will heal.”
“No.” he was certain, strong fury in his eyes holding the passion. “Life’s not worth living.”
He exhaled every so lightly, a hand going through his gray strands, aging through the years. Once they were the color of the midnight sky, hence the sparkling stars twinkling in the moonlight. Still, to the eye it held the structure, the curls spiraling at the base of his neck. Chuckling quietly she shook her head. The thick set of hair still intact. Very hard to believe that even a single strand could fall out of the strong man’s head. Hesitantly with the provoking of the small voice in the back of her crowded mind she let her finger dance at the piece covering his forehead where the small scar was located, etched in his fair skin.
“It was a small accident. A phase where my mother’s words did not impact my actions. Let’s just say this scar is a reminder of my juvenile past.”
Her eyes teared. His voice. The soft masculine rumble of his voice, her ears begging to listen to the sound that held the flash backs in her mind time after time. A small drop of her salty sadness fell from her delicate face, hitting his bare forearm. The contact of the hot drop managed to awaken him, slowly, as he groaned more loudly, half in pain, half in tiredness. First in a state of shock and surprise wiping away the trailing wetness on his arms as if he were swatting away a fly.
She held her breath. Her sobs. Her heart. Lifting her eyes to his face she waited. Slowly, his eyes opened. The wrinkled lids lifted revealing comfort. Those blue piercing eyes held no strange aura or distance, but home. Her home. They were not cold, setting upon her at an instant as she let more tears leave the captivated area, a dam of emotions washing down her face. There lying in front of her was the man she had love. The man she was in love with for more than time could tell.
His mouth opened to the desert that lay within him, not having the energy or the possibility to form words. He was tired. But she knew what he wanted to say, his eyes smiling up at hers, watering as she placed a hand on his face. Leaning in she placed a soft kiss on his forehead, embracing, remembering that moment to her best ability from his scent to the baby soft skin he seemed to achieve in his state.
She didn’t want to let go, but she had to.
“I love you too.”
Slowly, dodging the tubes and wire connected to his body she rested next to him finding comfort in his warmth as his eyes slowly closed. His breathing, his heart, his life, stopped. At one hundred and one years of age he passed away, waiting for her goodbye before his life was complete.
She had come to the funeral, hidden behind the large trees swaying in the April breeze in the large backyard of the large white house near the water. There were many faces, crying, mourning their loss. Her loss. Her love. It wasn’t a secret that he was loved by the mass of heart mending for the individual who caused an impact in each and everyone’s lives, especially the family he had created. His wife and his two children.
A beloved husband, father and friend.
“Life is worth living.”