Is everything alright?”
“Yes, yes everything is fine I just wanted to hear your voice.”
He pulled the phone away from him as he winced in pain placing a hand to the blood coming out of his side.
He brought the phone back to his ear.
“So, darling how was your day?”
“It was fine, I visited Daniel in the hospital today. The doctors said he’ll be fine. His leg is healing well and the surgery for his arm is in 2 days. He’s going to be okay.”
He couldn’t help feel jealous about the love in her voice as she spoke about Daniel. He had been her childhood friend after all. And yet she would never that he was the cause of Daniel’s pain. He had brought Daniel on a job with him and the people he had been sent to kill had nearly killed them instead. Maybe she would understand but he would never know.
“Nathaniel when are you going to be home?” she asked obviously fiddling with something in her hands.
His voice began to shake as silent tears streamed down his face.
“I don’t think I’ll be home in time for dinner today.”
“But Emily will be so happy to see her dad again.”
He nodded and his breathing hitched.
“Tell her I love her and would be there if I could, it's just something came up.”
“Nathaniel, are you sure nothing is wrong?” she asked her voice growing worried.
“I love you, I never think I’ll stop loving you, Mads. It’s just things don’t always work out in the end.”
“Nathaniel.” But before she could continue he shut off his phone throwing it across the room.
He pressed a hand to the wound trying to stop the blood. As he lived his final moments, the only thing he could think about was her. One decision had changed his life forever. His decision to save a rebel, who would have ended his life is she could have. He closed his eyes and as he did he couldn’t help but smile. Couldn’t help but hope that in the back of his mind, that Madeline would find love again. But he knew she wouldn’t. She would stay strong for the cameras, for the people, for their daughter. He had always been the only one she could trust to break down in front of. But know that he would be gone, he hoped that she found someone who wasn’t afraid of her, wouldn’t leave her when she needed them most, like he was doing know. And as he drifted, he mouthed her name.
As soon as she had received the call she had dropped her phone. They had come soon after to talk to her but they hadn’t found her. They searched the house but she was nowhere to be found. She had run, grabbed her things and run to where he would bring her when he knew she needed to break down. He had always known. As she arrived to the edge of the forest, her sense of longing grew. It pulled her, making her run unaware of the wolves watching her. And as she arrived to where they would go together, she dropped to the ground. She didn’t move for a while, not having any cares anymore in the world. They had taken him away from her, what did she have left? She was too insane in that moment, to enveloped in grief to think about her daughter, their daughter. She turned and walked towards the water, the lake calling her. As she waded in, she felt clear. She knew in that moment that she didn’t want to live in a world without him. He had been her rock and yet the people would call her insane, unstable. How was she supposed to stay tethered to the world if she didn’t have anyone to tether her there. And as she walked deeper and deeper into the water, the wolf watched her. And as her head disappeared deeper and deeper under the water it howled. It had lost one of its own. Then another howl joined and then another until there was no silence to be found, just the howls of those mourning the death of their own.
A funeral was held. Two empty casket. Friends and family offering their condolences to a girl who would have to grow up too fast. They sat on cold plastic chairs, the little pink lily in her hair the only thing breaking the sea of black. As the man droned on, she realized that their accomplishments meant nothing. To the world they had killed themselves. It didn’t matter to the world that they had left a daughter behind, or that the woman was so stifled by this world of judges that she had killed herself. It didn’t matter. And as she sat, a twelve year old girl, she couldn’t help but plan. Her parents had left her. Her friends left her too once they heard her story. A story that had become so twisted as it passed through the mouths of the those around her. And as she grew farther and farther apart from the people that had claimed they were her friends, she began to crumble. Even the ones closest to her left. Was she permanently labeled insane now.
One day without even thinking otherwise, she lit a match, throwing it into the place she had once called home, had once shared with her parents. Turning her back as the flames licked the walls, she walked away and nobody would stop her. They didn’t care for her after all. She went home but not to the house where she was born. She went home to the forest. A home where the world was cut out, the only sound, silence. And as she arrived, she was met by the same wolf that had grieved her mother’s death. She stroked the wolf’s silver fur and together they walked. And as they did, snow began to fall, but she didn’t care about the cold freezing her fingers and toes. She didn't think at all. And as they reached the lake where her mother had gone the girl smiled, as though she knew the place. She sunk to the ground. The wolf settled onto the snow covered ground next to the girl . As the snow fell around them, the cold soon overtook their bodies. And as they died together in the snow, the girl smiled just like her father had, because she knew that she would join them again.
There could be a happy ending but there wasn’t much of one. The world didn’t grieve their deaths, they had been weak, too weak to do what they were meant to do. Their actions didn’t fix the world but they weren’t supposed to. Because the world they lived in was too corrupt to care. Too focused on themselves then those around them. But they did find each other. And although they would always be labeled as insane, the man had been a war veteran, a man kind enough to protect the life of an innocent girl thrust into the game of life too soon. The woman had been a warrior, not a coward. Only when she had been pushed to the limit had she gone over the edge. The girl was a still a child, pushed to do what she did not because she believed her parents had left but one who believed that her parents had wanted her to join them, in a world less corrupt than the one they had been living in. As they lived on, in the skies, the world continued to grow corrupt and they were soon forgotten. But maybe that was for the better.