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No Lost Love

The roar of the waterfall was mighty, tumultuous waves fanning out from the bottom of the falls. The crystal-clear water ricocheted off the sharp, slippery rocks, foaming like the chloroform I’d used to subdue the dead weight in my arms. The noise of the foamy water rushing over the ledge almost drowned out the sound of my bawling, horrible sobs that convulsed my body in its sick and twisted lamentation.

Almost.


I laid her down on the muddy riverbank, her head lolling in my arms. For a moment, I thought that I’d already lost her, that God had given me mercy and had already taken my beloved to his golden gates, but it was all in vain. She moaned, a haunting sound that made me cringe as it echoed in my mind. She groaned in her chemically-induced sleep, one word repeatedly leaving her lips.


My name.


The tears raced faster and more furiously down my cheeks, tiny rivulets pouring from two dams cracked beyond repair. I buried my head in her stomach, holding her tightly to me. Her wound gushed blood into my face, into my moist eyes. The injury was fresh, a circular gash in her middle. The bullet was in my back pocket – still oozing in blood – beside the gun I had used to maim her.


My only regret was that I didn't have the nerve to kill her quickly.


She kept murmuring my name, an endless incantation. I wished she would just shut up… But she kept whispering that one word, over and over and over and over again… Didn't she know she was only making this harder on me?


I let her go, and she fell in a heap, her limbs tangled together. Her words jumbled into a messy slur, but the sounds were still too distinct even as she tripped over her own syllables. I was going to go insane if I had to listen to one more second of her evil words, words aimed to stab me with remorse and compunction, two emotions that would surely destroy me in the end.


My love opened her eyes to see me as the chloroform began to wear off, but she was too far gone to see the monster in front of her. All her eyes saw was a crystallized image of the face she fell in love with, but he had died long ago, burned at the stake by both his and her torturer.


“I love you,” she whispered amorously, smiling despite herself. A trail of blood dribbled out of her mouth as she upturned her lips in undying affection.


Fury coursed through my veins in a haze of adrenaline, a burning sensation like no other. What was wrong with her? Why didn't she hate me, recoil from the touch of the sick betrayer slowly stripping the life from her bones?


Without thinking, I yanked her upright by her thick, golden locks, flinging her into the lake like a rag doll. Bubbles surfaced where she’d gone under, but she never came up for air. I sat there for minutes, hours, waiting to see her head bob up as she gasped for air, but the water remained calm and effervescent. She remained at the bottom of the lake, no doubt turning blue, her eyelashes dotted by strings of water droplets.


In a final act of desperation, I forced myself to stand on shaky legs. I commanded my feet to walk through the meadow we used to play in as kids, up the hill we would sled down every winter, even when everybody told us we were too old to take part in such childish things, until at last I reached the summit. Below me, a straight-down vertical drop, my love laid, her body peaceful, awaiting my arrival.


The roar of the waterfall was mighty, tumultuous waves fanning out from the bottom of the falls. The crystal-clear water ricocheted off the slippery-sharp rocks, foaming like the chloroform I took out of my jacket pocket and pressed against my face until I slipped into a darkness I would never return from. The noise almost drowned out the sound of my bawling, horrible sobs that convulsed my body in its sick and twisted lamentation.


Almost, but not quite.


And then…


I jumped
without a moment’s

hesitation, tugged down


by my heavy heart –


a fleeting attempt to





make





things





right…

…My body hit the rocks with a sickening crunch and lay still, unmoving. My bones were shattered like glass, my skin torn like cloth, blood running across the rocks and into the river in a hot red mess. It stained the rocks and dyed the water as my body paled and cooled.


Deep under the flesh and sinew, the bone and muscle, my soul struggled beneath the rubble, but it could not break free. It was trapped, condemned to live an eternity of pain and misery.


It was a fate worse than death.



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