Crazy

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Tears perched dangerously on the edge of her eyes. She swallowed, trying to hold back her emotion. He didn’t like it when she cried. But it was almost too much…the moonlight on his smile, feeling his hand her shoulder, that swelling feeling in her chest she got whenever he said her name, his laughter, him making her laugh, stars sparkling like sunlight on water, that swelling feeling again, the way his hair curled at his temples, telling him her dreams, knowing it was good, and terrifying, but still good…How was this happening? Was this happening? Could it really be real? Surely, this is the movie stuff, stuff that doesn’t happen to her. She was normal. He was not. But as if to reassure her doubts, he raised himself off the ground and then pulled her to her feet. Once she was standing, he didn’t let go of her hands. He smiled at her- she melted- in a way that she knew he was about to ask her something. “Dance with me.” She nodded, helpless against the smile, helpless against him. He began humming a tune she had never heard but it seemed oddly familiar. Like a lullaby her mother had used to sing her as a baby: she couldn’t say the name but it was still in the back shelf of her self somewhere as a memory. They swayed together in time to the melody, him holding her close, her relishing his arms around her. Warm and safe and comfortable and then chill wind swept up dry leaves so that they brushed the bare skin of her ankles. She shivered at the unwelcome contact. He stopped the dance for a moment, and reached down to pick up one particular leaf- it was dark and ruby colored. He held it next to her head, as if studying a specimen in an experiment. Once he was satisfied, he gently pressed the leaf behind her ear and smiled down at her. “It matches perfectly.” She laughed at him and he laughed too, and when he laughed it went from his mouth all the way to his chocolate eyes. “You’re crazy.” She told him, looking into his eyes the way she always did, like it was the most natural thing in the world. “Maybe,” he consented, picking up the dance once more. “Maybe.”

The air was sharp and icy. Like the whole world was the produce section of a grocery store. Only covered in a thick white blanket called snow. She rubbed her hands together, attempting to bring some warmth to her frozen palms; even with her mittens she could feel her fingers turning numb. Her teeth had become to chatter when- suddenly- a red glove, much bigger than her blue mitten, grabbed hold of her hand. She felt something small and smooth being pressed into her palm. She tried pulling away to see what it might be but he wouldn’t let go. Smiling at her frustration- patience was not one of her virtues. “What is it?” she begged to know. But he did not relent. He just kept walking, catching the occasion piece of white fluff on his tongue, humming the familiar lullaby, and smiling at her. They came to a giant pine tree with limbs all frosted with white coats. He stopped her at its base- she was desperate to know what was going on- and took a deep breath. Then, he- slowly- slipped his hand out of hers. She eagerly looked to see what he had left behind. And then there it was, small and smooth in her palm. She gasped and for a second she swore her felt her heart stop moving. On top of her blue mitten lay a gold ring holding three diamonds on its band. He grinned like a proud student after receiving a good grade, looking at his feet, while she gawked at the piece of jewelry she was holding. She turned to him- slowly- with her mouth open, waiting for words to come out, for the world to make sense again. Because this wasn’t how it worked. He wasn’t supposed to do this. She wasn’t supposed to be floating through the sky, or was that the snowflakes? This doesn’t happen to her. And then, suddenly, it all makes sense. This is it, this the good she thought she had but now better. She jumped into his arms. “Yes!” “Yes, yes, a thousand times, yes!” He let out a sigh of relief like someone who had been holding his breath for a long time. This almost made her laugh, that he would be nervous about something that was so obvious: of course she was always saying yes. He was her yes. Always. “You’re crazy!” She cried, draping her arms around her neck. “I know,” he whispered.
He had his eyes. The same dark, dark brown eyes. Dark like the chocolate her father gave to her mother every Valentine’s Day. Dark like the bark on a pine tree. Such beautiful dark brown eyes. The tiny boy’s hands rubbed against her cheek and she felt her chest swell with pride and love and adoration and some things she wasn’t quite sure what to call. She held his fingers in her palm and gave them a light squeeze. From behind, she sensed someone approach the rocking chair she was nestled in with her tiny treasure. He reached down to the bundle in her arms and smoothed the tufts of auburn hair on his head. She passed him the baby, watching with his face light up with joy as he took the new life into his arms. He traced his fingers along his sons face as if memorizing each detail, each curve of the cream-colored skin. There was something so protective, so sweet, so precious about this scene of father and son- the swelling feeling filled her chest- that she closed her eyes. Hoping perhaps she could freeze time and the three of them would be here forever and always, together in harmony. But time didn’t wait for even the most precious of moments. She knew this so she opened her eyes, eager to drink in every second of this peace. The child was beginning to fall asleep in his arms. He placed the boy into his crib with such care it seemed as if he thought his child was made of glass or fine china. Only this swaddled mass with a tiny persistent heartbeat was so much valuable than glass or china or anything else she owned. Outside, the clouds had let loose of their wet burdens. The raindrops were splashing onto the grass and budding flowers, bursting open onto their landing mound. She placed her hand against the window, watching the droplets slide along the glass in thin rivers. They collided and absorbed each other in quick, random movements; she had trouble focusing on just one drop. She wanted them to slow down, to not be so quick to hit the windowsill. She glanced back to the crib where her son now slept. His small chest rising and falling in perfect time. The rain continued to pour down the glass her hand was pressed against. He covered her hand with his, much larger and warm alongside her skin. She took a deep breath- his touch still affected her as much as the first time- and looked up into his dark brown eyes. “We must be crazy.” She said quietly as not to wake the baby. He nodded, “It would seem we are.”
The sun was bright and warm. She looked to the blinding sky, begging silently for some of the heat to enter inside her chilled body. Ever since it had happened, she felt cold constantly, as if her bones were frosted white with snow. Eventually, her vision became spotted with black dots from the glaring light, forcing her to turn away. Everything seemed to triumph over her lately. Days were like battles and strewn across the fields were broken soldiers, her comfort, her spirit, her heart. She couldn’t help but think how he loved weather like this: strong sun, robin’s egg blue sky, no clouds, and just a touch a breeze in the air. How did everything always come back to him? In her hands she held a giant sunflower. She fingered its prickly stem, remembering that these were his favorite- back to him again. “A bit of an outsider” he would say about them, “But still happy with the world.” Tenderly she placed the flower on the dark, dark brown casket. The buttery yellow color of the petal stood out beautifully against the wood. He would have liked that. They had asked her if she wanted the casket to be open. So everyone could look at him as they said goodbye. But she had refused. She couldn’t bear to see him like that again, like he was on the street. Still and blank and cold. He just wasn’t him without a heartbeat, without a smile, without that emotion which seemed to constantly paint itself across his features. He had been crazy to cross that street. Crazy not to see the truck coming. Crazy to let it hurt him, because nothing was supposed to hurt him. He was her yes. He knew that and he would never have done this to her. He’d have to be crazy. “You’re crazy.” She told the casket. Then louder, making sure he would hear her, “You’re crazy!” But there was no response. Because he couldn’t hear her of course. That’s how it’s supposed to be when this happens. She finally came back to the reality after so many years of floating above it, in a place where it was all good. She turned away from him as fresh tears flowed from her eyes, running down her cheeks in thin rivers. He had never liked it when she cried.





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Rememberthebest said...
Aug. 21, 2010 at 5:17 pm
I love reading through your peices and seeing how you attatch the time periods together. Periods that are completely different but attatched with one common thread. Love it! Keep up the good work :)
 
b3101 said...
Sept. 14, 2009 at 8:04 pm
absolutely love it! you have a LOT of talent!!!!!!!
 
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