Jeremy’s Gift

March 25, 2008
The bird wouldn’t quit staring. Ava sat on her bed, legs folded in the lotus position, glaring back just as intently at the little glass bird. How many times had she awoken in the weeks since Jeremy’s death, only to find the little glass bird- his final gift to her- glaring with wide-eyed ferocity? When the sun still graced the sky, the little blue bird’s gaze was benign, vacant. But when all went dark and the colors receded, it became as a stern, silent sentinel. A romantic would have said it was Jeremy, keeping a still-loving eye on her in her slumber. But Ava knew better. Jeremy was dead, gone. He had leapt off that bridge and given in to the soundless void. But there was most definitely something wicked about that bird.

The Bird wouldn’t quit staring. She couldn’t see it in the dim light of her bedroom. It was shrouded in some thick shadow. But she could feel it. She felt its glass eyes boring into her. It was watching. She more than half feared to go back to sleep. It was sentient, of that she was absolutely sure. It watched her, regarding her with its cold glass eyes. Solemn. Malevolent. Calculating.

“What are you thinking, bird?” She whispered. The inquiry elicited no response, and after a moment, she wondered if she’d ever really said anything at all.

What had he meant by it? What was Jeremy’s purpose, leaving this to her? There was no indication in his note, only the simple instruction that she was to be given the bird upon his death. He’d jumped of the bridge hardly an hour after writing it. They found him a week later, caught up in some reeds near the south tip of the lake. She wished she knew the significance of the malicious trinket.


Ava started and shook her head. She knew the voice well, but it couldn’t have been. She turned to glare at the dark place where she knew the little bird was perched. Her eyes adjusted to the dark, and –as she had expected- it hadn’t stopped staring.

“I hear you, Jeremy,” she hissed. “Hear this, leave me be.”

She was no romantic. If Jeremy watched her through glass eyes, it was done far from lovingly. As much as she hated to admit it, she had driven him to do what he had done. She had known he was unstable. She should have waited to break it off, given him time to get himself back together again. The last line of his note had read ‘All is as it should be. The Lover is annihilated by the beloved.’ She was the one at fault. The knowledge gnawed at her.

The clock winked out then, and in the sudden, total dark she fancied she heard a tinkling and the rustle of wings.

“Ava,” came Jeremy’s voice again. “J’adore.”

“I know,” she whispered. “I know.” How often he had said it when they were together. How often he had wished he were more poetic. He had said “If I were an eloquent man I would sweep you off your feet with a grand sonnet. But for now, let us settle for this. Ava, J’adore.” And for a little while it had been enough for her.

Blame it on her upbringing.

Blame it on her short attention span.

But before very long, adoration wasn’t enough. His gifts and supplications meant so very little. Others caught her eye, and she felt no shame in letting him see it. Finding little point in delaying the inevitable, she’d brought it to an end swiftly and as painlessly as she could manage. He was lost, and she without regret.

She heard the wings again.


“Leave me be, Jeremy. Please, let it go.” She sat up in the corner, her back to the wall, searching the darkness with anxious eyes. There was movement in the shadows, without a doubt, but she could not disturb from which direction it came. She couldn’t even feel the walls or the bed anymore. Was she even in her room? Or had she slipped into the void, summoned by the calls of Jeremy.


She heard the bird, rustling and chirping. It was close, so very close. She started to cry.

“Ava. J’adore.”

“I drove you to jump.”


The bird chirped. Twittered, Squawked. Glass wings flapping. She felt the breeze on her cheek.


A hand brushed her cheek. She screamed and tore away. She jolted as she felt the floor beneath her feet, and she staggered forward. She had to get away. The bird screeched, and Jeremy wailed. She had to get away. At last she found the sweet escape, and she pitched herself in headfirst at full velocity.

They found her the next morning, crumpled on the ground beneath her window amongst the shards of glass. They found no suicide note, no indication of premeditation. Nothing more than a broken, glass bird laying as shattered as she upon her floor.

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