April 21, 2009
More by this author
They say when you die, your life flashes before your eyes.
It’s flashing.
Age Three: Hearing mother’s screams as she’s clawing at the door. Father has locked her in the closet -she wore the wrong dress.
Age Six: Dropping from a four-story building. Father said I hadn’t set the table right. Father tells me to pray that I die because living would be worse. I prayed.
Age Ten: Father dies. Mother cries. I rejoice.
Age Eleven: Mother stops caring. I discover my fatal happiness—drugs.
Age Fifteen: I get Lauren pregnant because I lose a bet against her boyfriend. She moves. I become a tyrant. I become Maximillion Black.
Age Seventeen: I fall in love. She’s taken. Anna.
Age Eighteen: I carve my name in Anna’s thigh because I can’t carve it in her heart.
Age Twenty-two: I become a drug lord. I stop caring.
Age Twenty-six: I meet Anna again. She’s not taken. I start caring again.
Age Twenty-eight: Anna and I adopt Hope from the foster home, mine and Lauren’s kid. I become a father, a human.
Age Twenty-nine: I leave Anna. I can’t divide my love, there’s a limited amount.
Age Thirty: Hope dies, overdose; my drugs. My little heart strained with all the love I’ve forced out of it, scurries to some corner of my black soul.
After thirty, the years blur together.
Its time to go now, I can’t wait any longer.
First, I have to tie loose ends. Now where’s the paper...
Land Lady:
“The smell, I can’t forget the smell. It was noon and Mr. Black’s rent was due, that’s why I was in the building.” I gulp down the glass of water, “I also had to remind him to call the contractors, the building had a huge gas leak. He had known, so I don’t know why he was smoking in there.” I smiled feebly. The memory of his body dancing with flames, as he rocked on his rocking chair not even screaming, haunts my eyes.
“Thank you Mrs. Hoss,” the young officer leads me out.
I always knew Maximillion would do it, kill himself, but in this manner-Never.
An accident, it had to be. Why would a man want to burn alive, there were so many other ways.
“Charlie, fill out the forms, captains asking for ‘um.” Jude yells from the door.
Forms! It’s my first case and I don’t even have all the information.
Name: Maximillion Black
Case Description: possible suicide, most likely an accident
Gender: male
For everything else, I need the forensics report.
This sucks! I should’ve stuck to engineering.
Daddy don’t do it! It almost escapes from my mouth, but then he sees it, he sees the light. It’s too late now.
“Daddy, daddy, it’s me, Hope. Don’t worry, you’ll be okay now.” I try to run to him, but Anna grabs my arm.
“Hope, you can’t go there, wait for him, he’s coming.” she pulls me to her.
I watch as daddy drifts closer and closer. His worries, heartaches, and sorrows being erased on the way.
“Hope is that you?” he squints his eyes; the mist is always thick around the gate.
“Yes daddy it’s me, like when I was little.” I run into his arms.
I had told Him I didn’t want to spend the rest of eternity stuck in a drugged up body. I wanted to be innocent again.
“I love you Hope. I’m sorry I wasn’t a good father. I’m sorry I couldn’t protect you.” his tears soak my hair.
“Look daddy,” I quickly wipe away my tears, I have my own apologies, “Anna’s here too!” I smile and hide the momentary mention of the past.
“Hi Maximillion,” I push her closer to daddy, she’s shy, it’s been a while. “I heard what you said at my funeral last year, it was sweet. Thank you.”
“Anna.” Daddy stutters, “I love you, I always have, I never stopped.” he reaches for her hand, “I’m sorry I hurt you.” he pulls her into his arms.
Daddy is finally at peace.
“A mother isn’t supposed to bury her son, that’s not how it works.” The wind gently flutters my black skirt; it’s a beautiful day, the perfect day for a burial. “Maximillion was troubled both as a boy and as a man. He never had it easy in life, but that didn’t break him, it only made him stronger... colder. My little boy never got love from either of his parents. His father abused him as a child and I...well...I ignored him.” the tears start streaming, “Its not that I didn’t love him, I did, I loved him more than I could bear. That’s why I couldn’t have him leave me, so I never stopped him from doing anything. I watched as he drugged himself up, I watched as people shunned him, I watched as he became a monster, still, I didn’t stop him. I was afraid he’d leave me, that he wouldn’t love me. But that did the exact opposite, “I inhale slowly, “He hated me. I didn’t save him, so he hated me.” I take out the letter and read, “Dear mother, when you read this I’ll be dead. Don’t cry, it was time. I just want to tell you why, you deserve to know. Mother, I’ve been digging my grave ever since I was eleven. I’m tired now, I can’t dig anymore. My hands are bloody and calloused, my clothes are damp with sweat, I’ve given up. The hole is deep enough, if you look closely, you can see the lights of Shanghai. It’s deep enough. Mother, its time for you to lay me to rest and cover me with my bloody dirt. I’m ready.” A sob escapes, I continue, “One last thing mother, bury me as Maxi, the name you used to call me as a child, when my scars were less in number. As Maximillion, I committed too many crimes- I hurt too many people. I may have lived guilty, but I want to die innocent. Bury me as Maxi.” The tears are racing down my face, my wails drifting with the wind. “Then he told me he loved me. He signed off: I love you mother, I’m sorry.” I smile a little, but the tears are still running, “I’ve yearned for those three words: I love you, for seventy years. Seventy damn years, I craved, hungered to hear my little Maxi utter those words. And I heard them as he took his final breaths. Max, darling, I’m sorry, if you can hear me, I’m sorry...” I collapse to the ground in hysterics.
Woman in Park:
“Okay that’s enough Mrs. Black” two men carry her off.
“What’s wrong with her?” I look over my shoulder at the old woman, she’s still crying.
“She’s crazy. She makes that same eulogy every Sunday. Her son’s been dead for thirty-five years.” Macy glances at the woman, “Just ignore her.”

Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

Site Feedback