Death Nor Dark Do Part

August 28, 2008
By Samantha Carpenter, Belle River, LA

Amilaiarah never realized just how essential she was to my very existence. Would it be too late to even pray for her realization of this? Tears slowly made there way down my face, leaving behind a slightly warm sensation. It mattered not that I wasn’t alone in the room anymore. The thought came so suddenly and with such force, like a match being thrown on a pile of dry timber deeply saturated with gasoline. The minutes quickly passing by could have quite possibly turned to the last seconds, all too soon, that I had with my precious Ami. There was no one besides the two of us in the room at that moment, and were she to live, it was solely my responsibility.

I immediately looked around, surveying the damage that had so quickly been inflicted. Broken glass strewn on the floor glistened with a certain morbid beauty. The blood stained shards tenderly reflected the brilliant moonlight like that of stained glass. It was my death sentence watching her already too frail body slowly lose perhaps the toughest fight in the history to life, the enemy being her pure love for another. The shattered glass that pitilessly punctured her back shot an image of an angel with broken wings through my mind. Rejection was the tool that killed her. Not the blades of glass that pierced through her body. Not the quickened pace at which her blood drained onto the floor. Not even her feeble lungs as they gasped for air, incapable of receiving it. No, it was rejection. She was left a lovelorn soul. Putting herself out there, sacrificing her very heartbeat to keep his one hundred percent healthy, was what would kill her. Who knew love could hold such a tragic fate?

I could not let my pride cost Ami her life. Realizing that whatever small chance of preserving her life would be even smaller if dependant on myself alone, I accepted the fact that help was needed. “Dominic! Get in here. Quickly!”
Dominic, who had been anxiously wrestling with his emotions in the small hallway outside, frantically rushed into the room. He couldn’t understand why Amilaiarah risked her life for his. He was incapable of even beginning to understand Ami’s adoration and devotion to pleasing him. He felt a twinge of guilt upon entering the room. The sight of the bloody mess that was his own friend nearly made his knees buckle. The moonlight that glimmered through the hole in the wall where the window had once been spread across her body like a spotlight, as if taunting him, showing him what he had done to her. Knowing he was part the reason for it made it worse. Ami was a fragile butterfly who willingly pinned herself to death. A martyr for a lost cause, perhaps. Possibly my pleading expression for assistance was what had triggered his nearly instant caprice. Maybe, just maybe, Ami wouldn’t die after all.

“I need you to lift her head, very gently,” I instructed. As he slowly raised Ami’s head, a low, faint moan escaped from her all but comatose form. “There, there. Everything’s going to be fine,” I lied, trying to soothe her. “I need you to stay still, okay? We’re going to take some of this glass away from you. It’s going to hurt a little bit, but it will be okay. I promise.” I brushed the glass that was under her head away with my arm, angry. How could this happen to such an innocent, charming young lady? It didn’t bother me one bit that my arm was now a miniature replica of her still body, blood trickling onto the floor. Tearing off my shirt, I threw it by Dom and took Ami’s head into my own arms and told him to place the shirt on the floor where her head would momentarily be situated. He was so quiet; I felt the sudden need to reassure him that it wasn’t his fault, though sincerely, I knew this could have been avoided were it not for him. He didn’t need to be reminded of that, though. We had more important things to deal with.

Amilaiarah’s breathing slowed from a racing pant striving to keep the minimum of oxygen in her lungs to something more peaceful. She drifted into a light sleep. I prayed that this would ease her pain, even if only temporary and in a dull ratio compared to what a drug could do.

“Do you really think she’s going to be alright?” Skepticism edged on his voice.

Reluctantly placing her head back onto the floor, I debated on how to answer his query. I could take the same approach as I had with her, feed him false hope and optimism, strengthening his spirits, dealing with his disappointment and agony when the time came later. Or, I could be honest. I could tell him that she would more than likely die and that I was more attempting to slow the process rather than bring it to a halt. I could tell him the chances were slim and hope that Ami couldn’t hear her painful reality. I allowed a few more moments to pass before speaking. I needed to collect myself and brace myself for whatever his reaction would be. For all I knew, I could suddenly be facing a fit of anger and rage. “I’m not sure how much longer she has. The bleeding never stopped yet, and it’s been three quarters of an hour already. The blood that’s filling her lungs are making it a diligent task just to take a small breath. Her heartbeat is getting weaker by the minute. Maybe if we can just slow the bleeding, maybe if we could help her breathe, we could keep her alive long enough for the medics to get here. If anyone will be able to save her, they stand a higher chance than us.”

Rather than being overwhelmed by veracity, Dominic simply nodded. We had reached a silent understanding. If Ami died, leaving her mass of blood slowing ebbing from her body on our hands, we had both lost the fight right alongside of her. Keeping her alive had become the sole purpose for both of our beings within less than an hour. Amilaiarah’s sacrificial love for him birthed his motivation. Mine, my unreserved love for her.

We slowly picked piece by rigid piece of glass out of her open flesh, wary not to cause any unnecessary blood loss or pain. The mass of glass debris grew larger and larger. The thought that the majority of it was coming from her body was sickening. After Dominic and I removed what we could from her, we wondered if we should attempt removing the glass from her back. Ami stirred in her fatal position and began to cough up blood. Panic struck, for I wasn’t sure if this was a good thing or not. Surely coughing blood wasn’t healthy under normal circumstances, but these weren’t normal. Did this mean that there was less blood drowning her lungs? I asked Dom to run downstairs and get her a bottle of water. I wanted a moment alone with my dearest, as if the time left were merely a few rapid revolutions of the small hand around the clock, and I hoped the water would help appease her coughing. What could a clock hold on a person. Was the clock what determined her last breath, or was death what determined the speed at which it passed. I lightly pressed my head to her chest, noting that her breathing was faster than when she was asleep, yet not as rapid as before. A good thing, I supposed. My lips were delicately pressed against her forehead. I was afraid to touch her, afraid of her falling apart in my arms. “Je t’aime Ami,” I whispered into the darkness. “I love you.”

Unexpectedly, her hand lifted somewhat, searching for mine. Instinctively, my hand found hers, and I tenderly intertwined our fingers together. She made an effort to smile, and my thumb began tracing small circles against hers.

“It’s going to be okay. You’re a strong girl.” I contemplated rather or not to make light of the situation and figured it couldn’t make things worse. “I mean look at you. You’re like a window someone just hit a baseball through. You’re laying here because you were determined to save Dom, which you did. If fate couldn’t stop you, who said you couldn’t stop it? Just stay strong. Put your mind to healing, and before long, you’ll be better than ever. I wasn’t lying, either, I really do lo -- .”

“They’re here.” A victorious smile stretched across Dominic’s face while confusion swept across mine. “The paramedics are on their way up right now. I told them what happened and what we did and they seemed pretty confident.” Then to Ami he said, “You hear that? You’re going to make it out of here in one piece, girl. You saved my life, and now they’re going to save yours.”

At that precise moment two thoughts crossed my mind. One the equivalent of a person releasing their tight grip on my lungs, finally allowing oxygen to take over my body just moments before suffocation. Ami was going to live. My beloved wasn’t about to become my julietic death.

Then the trigger was pulled and the bullet pierced straight through my heart. Dominic was grateful for his personal savior. Who could blame him? Dom was finally beginning to understand that certain invincible emotion that pulsed through Amilaiarah’s very existence. Though a bit later than she had preferred, Dominic was suddenly ready to give his life for her.

And that’s when I had made the most painful, yet worthwhile decision I’d ever make in my life. What is a love that doesn’t desire the wants—possibly needs—of the other? I could never fill the gap in Amilaiarah’s life that was set aside for Dominic. There were parts of her that pined for Dom and to my realization, there always would be. And who was I to steal the celestial presence of my precious Ami from him? She was not mine. Oh, how I wished for that. The love she held for Dom was enough to save his life. Perhaps, now, his love in return, though partially out of simple compulsion, was precisely what it took to save hers. Maybe her sacrifice had opened his eyes to her splendor and spirit, which once in focus could never be doubted or blurred from one’s heart. So, when Amilaiarah finally came to, I stood alone in the hall. Listening in, I could hear her delightful voice breaking through the forsaken night and pictured her matter of fact smile. I imagined their whispered words, the might of their emotion. With a gentle touch, Ami would have her sweetest dreams come true. Death nor dark could spilt apart their love for one another. Forever invincible and true, they would stand together through anything life threw their way. Ami’s heart could now drift into a peaceful rest, her soul at last satisfied. Two heartbeats combined to one. A muffled lullaby.

The author's comments:
This piece was inspired by the thought, "What if one could not truly be loved until she was willing to surrender her life?" I was planning on writing a much longer story, and this was originally an exerpt from the middle. I then decided, however, to turn it into a short story for the time being. It's written from Aiden's perspective. He cares fervently for Ami, who loves Dom, who only sees Ami as a sister. Ami never once thought about loving Aiden in the romantic way, because he was always there for her. He was her best friend and like a brother. He shows his love for her not in saving her life but more so in allowing Dom and Ami to fall in love.

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This article has 1 comment.

writer1211 said...
on Aug. 30 2008 at 10:34 pm
this was an amazing story, full of deatil an amazing chareters. Though at some times there is a bit too much detail, but the bulk of the story is great. You should continue your work


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