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The Last Hope

He’s dead, I tell myself. He’s dead. He’s dead. He’s dead. Never coming back. Never filling a silent room with laughter. Never watering roses with a rusty bucket, the water making a clunking noise as it hits the ground.

Never.


The car picks up speed, shadows from the outside move across my face. The small hummingbird attached to a chain burns in my palm as I hold on with hands slick with sweat.


Never. Never. Never.


I grip the hummingbird and tug as hard as I can. The chain bites into the back of my neck. I tug until the thought leaves my brain. I drink in the pain as much as I can. It distracts me from the the knot in my chest that I’m positive will never go away.


A soft, mournful song came from the radio and I swayed to the beat, trying to distract myself from my own thoughts.


Never. Never. Never.


The funeral home was a small, cozy looking building. Painted yellow as if it were an effort to cheer me up. An effort. I peeked into the open window of the funeral home from my seat. The inside was crammed with bodies clothed in black. He would have hated that. It also looked stuffy, with expensive paintings and vases mounted on the walls. He would have hated that, too.


Never. Never. Never.


My mother helped me out of the car with gentle hands. My feet aren't too good in heels, and I don’t want to rip my dress.


My black dress. My black boots.


I wanted to wear the bright pink dress he had given me last I saw him. I was answered with a no, because funerals are stuffy and crowded. Full of people dressed the color of the clouds before a storm.


And now I have to be part of it.


My eyes burnt in the shadow of my tears. I wanted to cry. No, I needed to cry. But I had used up the last of my tears last night, when he died. Sobbing until my head spun and my feet couldn't hold me up any longer.


Never. Never. Never.


The words had seared themselves into the back of my mind. Taking the place where his memories had lived. I have already forgotten the way his face looked when it was lit up with a smile. It’s funny how the more you try to remember something, the easier it is to forget.


Never. Never. Never.


I shoved the thoughts roughly away, with invisible hands. Thick with calluses. There was a hand on my shoulder, and my father pivoted me around on my heel to face the garden across from the yellow funeral home. “Look,” he whispered into my ear, “hope”. My breath caught in my throat. The garden was the complete opposite of the stupid, crowded, yellow house full of stuffy furniture. This garden was wild and free. Overgrown in most places.


It’s everything he would have loved.


Tulips, poppies, lilacs, and most of all, roses. The same kind he would plant in his backyard. The same elegant color of blood when it’s thorn pricks a finger. I was so enveloped in the colors, sights, and sounds of my magical garden, that I almost missed the small moving figure in the middle of it all. My eyes widened at the sight and it felt as if my heart had stopped working. It’s soft wings beating out a slow melody. It’s head poking into another blood red rose.


The same graceful colors that shine on the body of the hummingbird clasped around my neck, warming my skin.  The bird lazily drifted through through the garden, it’s colors reflecting off the sun. It was right in front of me now, so close I could reach out and touch it. I felt as if time had stopped. The bird was really identical to his. It was the same hummingbird that would come and rap it’s beak on his bedroom window when it’s feeder was empty. It’s the same hummingbird that would entertain his wife in her wheelchair. Her eyes slowly dulling from disease.


It must have only been seconds that passed, but it felt like years.

I never wanted it to end.
I did not watch the bird fly away- I did not need to.
I felt the knot in my chest slowly unravel into a small bow, that I know would stay with me forever.
Never. Never. Never.
I did not push the thoughts away this time.
Never. Never. Never.
Instead I embraced them. Calling them to me.
Never. Never. Never.
Never leaving me.




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This article has 1 comment. Post your own now!

ChrisEvans said...
today at 5:11 pm
Woah. I have been through loss, and your article really affected me. Putting emotions that strong into words, is a very delicate task, and I feel you executed it flawlessly. Enough with the fancy words though, I give you two thumbs up. My only advice: keep writing. You have a gift.
 
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