Candor & Calamity

May 14, 2012
By Anonymous

The faucet roared. There she sat, in the corner, alone. Under the ominous glow of the florescent light above, her knees shook against her bare chest, her body weightless and cold. The light continued to flicker just as her will to live. Heaving she crawled to the tub, her face a wet mess. She rested her head on the edge of the tub, caressing the warm water with her hand. This one moment, staring at her fate, lasted an eternity. There was no hour no minute it was simply this, simply now. She grinned at this and pulled herself in. Submerged she screamed. It was glorious; the sorrow exited as the water entered, the emptiness she felt filled with water, and finally her aching heart had ceased.

There was a still sense of discomfort lingering about the air. Rose stood in the center of the basement with closed eyes. Left hand over right hip, right hand over left she held herself, swaying to Clare de Lune allowing the melancholy melody to flow through her and spill out all pores of her body as the tune progressed. She could not help but feel beautifully insignificant.

Rose swayed, Rose spun, and she questioned herself. She questioned her humanity. What did it mean to be alive? On a base level to exist, on a higher level to suffer? With weak legs and cold arms her body, her soul, was numb. Real pain acts as cement in the heart, the more you harbor the heavier you become and the harder it is to move forth. She felt so heavy and weak without a pain in the world. It was as though she was at rest, as though she was looking down at life, the world in her hands, simply watching—without her in it. With a mind at ease she knew she was ready.

In Rose’s mind she was already dead.

My eyes have been open awhile. I wonder if anyone else is awake. It’s not very late in the day yet, mother likes to sleep a long time. I’ve been staring at the same spot on my ceiling for God knows how long. The particular stucco I’m looking at resembles an owl. We’re having some kind of staring contest.

I give up. I look around my room, its dark in a strange sort of way. I don’t like the energy in here but I know it’s worse outside of my room. I get up anyways. I walk out into the kitchen. My mother is sitting by the table on the same wooden chair she always sits on. She isn’t sitting facing the table. She always sits there with the chair facing the window, her elbow resting on the table, her cheek resting on her fist. I wonder if she knows I’m in the room now. There’s a feeling brewing in my stomach. A bad feeling. I can feel her sadness from all the way over here. I wonder what she’s thinking about. I ask.

She turns her head to me and raises her eyebrows a bit, seeming partially surprised by my presence. “Happiness,” she says.

I go to her and sit. I look directly into her eyes and wish I had inherited them. I think about how she’s seeing the world through them versus how I am. What is she thinking behind those eyes when she sees me. She hardly speaks anymore. I can’t tell her how I’m feeling anymore. I think she feels guilty. I think she gave me this burden. “What about it?”

“Marla,” she starts in a sighing tone looking down. Her gaze returns to mine. “We are born alone and we die alone.”

Oh God. Where is she going with this.

“Throughout your life you will have no one but yourself.”

Yeah, well, what about you. Why the Hell wouldn’t you be there.

“Life is truly a river, constantly moving. People come people go. Time means nothing, there is only now. The only thing that will remain through and through is you. So love you, do what you love, take care,”

Why don’t you try taking care of me for once.
“And make impacts,” she finishes. I hate talking to her. It always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. I nod and go back to my room. Coming out here was pointless.

Since Rose’s last breakdown it’s been awfully quiet in the house. No one really wants to say anything, and no one really wants to hear anything. I know it’s tearing Marla up inside. I see the way she looks at her mother. So much anger. I don’t need to hear it. I see the way Rose looks at herself in the mirror. It’s so bland and disappointed. Every time I catch her in the act I tell her I love her but it never seems to make a difference.

I come inside the house, work was tiring. To most, the silence would be a relief but to me it’s a concern. Immediately I want to know where my wife is. I want to hear her voice but I don’t want to hear her thoughts. They sting. My greatest fear is losing her. If I lost Rose I would lose myself. I am she as she is me, we are one, and I’m responsible for her, and the family we’ve created. First I peek in Marla’s room, being closest to the front door. She’s sleeping, no sign of Rose. I walk by the couch to our bedroom, no sign of her there either. I go out back. She’s watering the grapevines. The same wave of relief washes over me daily. Seeing her alive. Then I look again, and she’s not so alive. It brings me back down to the same worries. “Hey,” I say softly.

She turns to me and smiles. Her black hair gently rests on her shoulders and her skin looks so fragile in the darkness. Her smile is my therapy. She’s lying though. I haven’t seen her smile in a while. We moved all the way out here to start over new, not continue this. Anger. “Hey,” she says to me. She puts the tin can down and walks to me putting her hand on my lower back. Calmness. She looks up at my face then guides me indoors. We sit on the couch and she asks if I’d like some tea.

“No. Just sit with me.” I don’t know what to say. I want to be here for her but I can’t ask her how she’s feeling. I can’t handle what she’s going to say. It’s too much. All of this is just too much.

“I won’t soothe your pain,” she says. Here she goes. Why can’t I have a wife that asks me how my day was. Why can’t I have a wife who goes to work, looks after our child, and makes dinner. Why can’t I help but love her even when she is so lifeless.

“And you know I can’t ease your strain. I’m so sorry my dear. It’s been me, me, me. I don’t want it to be like this anymore.”

“Then what do you want it to be like? Be an adult, Rose.” I feel my pulse becoming faster and my hands heating. “I feel like I’m babysitting. I constantly have to take care of you, worry about you, I do everything for you. I moved away from our old life, I forced my daughter to move from every single one of her friends all for you. I give you my all; you only give me what you don’t want to hold. If you want things to be different why aren’t they? It never ends with you. It’s problem after problem.” My heart is racing, my entire body is hot. I’m so sick of this. “I’m leaving.”

I have to. I can’t be here. I’ve already said the wrong words. She’s too delicate to hear any form of criticism on the subject. It’s best if I leave, before I say more. I’ll be back when I cool off.

“Where are you going?” Her face is blank.

“Out,” I don’t know where I’m going yet, I just know I shouldn’t be here. “By the time I come back you’d better know what you’re going to do for yourself. We can’t live like this.”

She doesn’t say anything so I just stand up. I walk to the door, grabbing my keys off of the counter on my way. I open the door and as I’m stepping out she stands and says she loves me. I love her too but the words can’t come out. So I look at her and say, “I’m coming back.”

The door shuts behind him. That warmth, that light, that comfort, that love—has just left. He’s left me this hour, this Sunday evening. I’m thinking of his body close to mine, him holding me as I lay on my side, away from him. Facing darkness. But the rise of his belly brushing against my back as he inhales and the soft exhale cooling the top of my spine provides a home, and reminds me I am not alone. But that’s not the case on this night. I feel so alone, so by myself.
It’s my fault though. What’s the point in this. There is none anymore and we all know it. It’s been so quiet because we’ve all known there’s nothing to do anymore. We all know I’m not getting better. It’s only hurting everyone I love. At this point my life is more selfish than my death. I hate myself. Truly I’m just tired. I’m just exhausted by the mental strain.
Real pain acts as cement in the heart. The more you harbor the heavier you become, until you are unwilling to carry on. This is my problem. Heavy things won’t fly.
I move to sit on the wooden dining chair, it creaks. The creak is so loud amidst the silence. I put my head in my hands as tears begin to flow. But I can’t sit here like this. There are too many emotions boiling inside of me. Hate, anger, sadness, frustration, pain, more sadness. I get up and slowly walk to Marla’s bedroom listening to the sound of my sticky feet lift themselves from the floor one by one.
I sit on the bed. She is so beautiful. She has so much potential. I wonder if she hates me. I wouldn’t blame her. This is my baby, my angel. Why isn’t this enough for me. A loving husband and daughter. I stare at her as she sleeps and every one of the smiles she’s given me flash before my eyes. I love my daughter. I touch her hair. It’s so soft. I kiss her on her forehead. I’m the worst mother.
I walk up to my room thinking this over and over. Then I picture Paul. I am the most selfish wife. I’ve neglected him all this time. I’ve let him down time after time. It’s always been about me, never him. I’ve put so much stress on him. I’ve hurt him when I didn’t mean to. He is right. My problems never end. God.
Help me. God help me. I begin to cry. And I can’t stop. I know what I have to do. I slowly pace towards the bathroom, I’m not even bothering to wipe the tears now. There are too many.
I’m here. I turn the faucet. The water pours out, it’s so loud. This part of me is saying stop, but the water is louder.
Don’t. Don’t, don’t, don’t. I back away from the tub thinking of death. I—myself. Being gone. Where will I go. Fear rushes through my veins. What seemed like an eternal release now seems like a mysterious abyss. I sit in the corner. I can’t leave this life behind.
What life. I see the way Marla looks at me. Such bitterness. I see the way Paul looks at me, afraid to speak. Both disappointed.
I have failed. My life is meaningless. I don’t have a reason to breathe anymore. I can’t believe in myself. I’m ready.
I’ve stopped crying suddenly. Why aren’t I crying. My face is still wet. I crawl to the tub without the energy to stand. My entire body shakes with apprehension.
Something happens as I’m gazing into that water though. I rest my hand in the water, it’s warm and inviting. I wave my hand from side to side slowly through the water. It feels like freedom.
There is no past. There is no future. There is only the present. So I pull myself in and immerse myself under the water.
I hold my breath momentarily. This is it. It’s over. I’ve loved all I’ve needed to love. Done all I can.
Everything has been in me all this time, I’ve been unable to express it, to let it out. It’s what’s killed me. And I’ll be damned if I die with it. I scream. It’s magnificent. All emotion leaves my body and I am free.
There is no past. There is no future. There is no present. Brightness surrounds me. I feel arms around me. Maybe they’re real, maybe they’re not. But I can’t look. There are no thoughts. Simply awe. I’m leaving this body. I’m leaving this life. I am free, I am pure, I am free.

Sunlight poured in.
Marla rolled onto her side.
The clock read 9:35 and she wheezed at this. This meant her father had left for work and she was alone. Except for her mother of course, but she wouldn’t be out of bed until late hours of the night to sneak a little something to eat. Marla would get up, fix some breakfast, offer her mother some pancakes or eggs but receive no response. Then she would shut the door behind herself, her heart feeling her mother’s pain.
So naturally she got up and walked to the kitchen. There was her father. The first thing she noticed was the ashtray- it was filled with enough cigarettes to last someone a sleepless night. He just sat there, still and silent with his head in his hands. Marla had never seen her father in such a state and was plainly speechless.
Finally he softly mumbled, “it’s over.” Marla could not believe such quiet words could shatter silence, more so shatter her heart. She ran to her parent’s room. The first thing she noticed was the drenched carpet just outside the bathroom door. Terror pulsed through her veins as she slowly turned the knob.
She shut her eyes and the door behind her. When she opened them it hurt. There she saw her mother, pale and lifeless. Stepping back she bumped against the door and slid down to the floor. Sitting there she could not bear to look, nor could she shut her eyes. So she sat, just staring for what seemed like ages. She needed to hear her mother speak, she needed to hear it wasn’t as bad as it seemed, she needed to be held, she needed to break herself apart and put herself back together. What she was looking at wasn’t her mother, this wasn’t a person, this was a shell. Could this be who sang her to sleep? Who held her when she was scared? Why couldn’t she hold her now? This couldn’t be real. So she stood and pulled the pocket watch from her mother’s jewelry box on the bathroom counter.
As she stepped outside she could see paramedics arriving for her mother in her peripheral vision. But all she could see was the sky. It was a clear blue but all she could feel was black death, and she wondered when the sky would break.

It came time for the burial. A friends and neighbors came in black attire. Marla stared at the coffin as the pastor spoke gentle words. Her mind was somewhere else though. She could not fathom the fact her own mother was gone. She couldn’t imagine not seeing her again. She tried to recall the last words she had said to her but couldn’t. And she couldn’t cry. She had not let one tear fall since the passing. What was real? Because this wasn’t.
“A real shame,” came a voice from behind her.
“Pardon me?”
“A real shame,” he said once again shaking his head. “How old was she?”
“Didn’t you know her?”
“No. I suppose I’ll just do the math. Let’s see, 2008 subtracted by 1977 ahh..”
“Why are you here?”
“I hang around the chapel a lot. Thirty-one. She was thirty-one. Whenever there’s a funeral, I’m close by. After all; funeral does start with fun, right?” He chuckled a little bit.
Confused and thought broken she asked his name.
“Rabbit.”
“Rabbit?” She looked up at him for the first time. He had messy blonde hair and emerald eyes. He was tall and skinny, his elbows almost popping out of his skin.
“Rabbit.”
Marla said no more. The casket was being lowered now. She was still baffled by this young man though and couldn’t even think of the reality of it all.
“You aren’t crying. Why aren’t you crying,” he said politely stern.
She just frowned looking downward into the grave her mother now laid in. Her very own mother. Inside that box. Six feet below her. She didn’t know why she wasn’t crying either. It was cool outside, slightly overcast, Marla’s favorite weather. It was fall and the leaves were changing, there was that autumn smell of dying grass and fresh air. She looked around her. The white chapel stood behind her so small and holy in the middle of this gloomy place. She turned back, the pastor was closing his bible now, and everyone slowly turned around, with their heads bowed. As they proceeded to their cars she could hear whispers; did you see Paul? He didn’t even show up. and poor girl, I can’t imagine losing my mother at such an age.
“Would you like to take a walk?”
Marla looked to Rabbit. She nodded and turned to go on. He led her around various tombstones speaking of each person as though he knew them. “This is Gerald Forbes. He had three greenhouses and loved each and every plant in them. His wife passed away four months before he did, he went crazy. He would always play her harp and he would always babble about his lost file, drill, clamshells and such silly little things. He died of old age but his son believes it was simply his broken heart that drove him mad and led him to his death.”
Every stone was another story, another person beneath them with friends and family and legacies they left behind. The more she thought about it though the more she thought the people who were gone now weren’t what was buried under them but just shells—shells that housed the souls of those who had moved forth.
“It’s not all bad. Death is nothing but a release.” He said in a strange and soothing tone. Everything about him was strange and naturally of course, Marla was intrigued.
“The thing is though,” she could feel his eyes staring as she looked at her feet, “I don’t understand. Why she would do it. I can’t wrap my head around it; I guess I need to just get a grip.”
She didn’t feel his eyes anymore so she looked over. He was looking down with a sort of frown. “A grip? On what?”
“I don’t know reality I suppose. It just doesn’t feel like this could be happening. I mean I can’t believe she’s gone. I can’t believe she would extract herself from this world like that. I can’t believe she would leave us like this. I can’t imagine where she is right now and I can’t imagine never seeing her.”
The wind picked up and he looked at her dead in the eyes. “You create your own reality. You don’t need to get a grip on a single thing.”
“I don’t want to be here.” It began to rain a little, like little ice crystals tapping their shoulders and cheeks softly.
“Go home.” And that’s exactly what she did.

It’s morning. It’s a bitter morning. I am not hungry. I do not wish to eat. It’s Sunday. Bitter Sunday. Bitter church. I wonder if Rabbit—why am I thinking of Rabbit.
Time to get dad up. I knock on his door but receive no response. I knock again. Nothing. I try the door. It’s locked. Did he come home last night? Is he sleeping? It’s not like him to sleep late. I knock once more. I hear something drop from inside the room so I call his name. He is ignoring me. Why. Is he in pain? Because I am too. I leave.
I go to my room and curl up in my bed. I hold my knees close to my chest regardless of the fact I can’t feel my legs. Or my arms for that matter. I lie like this and shake. I’m paralyzed. I can’t move. I don’t want to move. I want to be here forever.

She’s looking at me. She’s asking me why I didn’t stop her. I’m looking at her. I cannot speak. She tells me her heart hurts she tells me she needs to be held tightly she tells me she needs protection from herself. She says she loves me and she says she’s sorry. She’s crying now and fading away. I’m reaching for her but can’t seem to get a hold fast enough. I need to feel her skin once more. She was so gentle, so kind. How did this happen. She’s nearly gone now and I wake up, sweating.
I feel frantic upon waking up, angry I couldn’t stop her, and terrified to face the fact I won’t see her again, all around sheer pain. I drop the photo I fell asleep with and the frame makes a loud sound. I hear Marla call me. Not now. No church today.

I hear the front door shut. I still don’t want to move. It’s been three days and I haven’t said one word to my father. It doesn’t matter. He doesn’t want to talk either.
I never liked Wednesdays. What time is it. I don’t want to move. But I do. The clock says it’s seven in the evening.
I sit up. I feel so empty, I look around my room. It’s dark in here, almost like I’m in some kind of cave. I haven’t really left my room and it smells kind of funny now. My single bed is so stupid. My white walls are so stupid. My little dresser is so stupid. So is the lamp. It’s clean but only because I don’t really own much. We never had much money, my mom was fired a few years ago and since then we moved and my dad got two jobs. I wonder what she thought of herself.
I hate this. This is no home. I hate this house. I hate this room. I hate my life. I have no one.
I stand up and leave my room. The floor outside my room is much colder under my feet from no one living and breathing here. I walk to my parents’ room, then to the bathroom. I turn the faucet.
I sit in the corner. I keep picturing my mom in the tub but I try my hardest to push that image out. I’m trying to feel her. I’m trying to feel what she felt in those final minutes.
Bad idea. It’s so dark my heart hurts, my stomach is in pain. I hold it, trying to keep my insides in. I crawl to the tub and feel the water. It’s nice and warm and inviting. Suddenly I get it.
She just wanted to let go. This is an ugly world. It’s unjust, it’s cruel, it’s greedy, it’s wretched. Who would want to be here? Now it seems only a madman would stay on this earth.
I can’t blame her. My mother is a smart woman and it lead to her downfall. She saw all these things and they guided her to this conclusion.
I consider getting in the tub and freeing myself.
No.
I turn the water off. I leave thinking there has to be a better way. I’m hurting really bad, I need to leave the house.
I walk down the road, my mother always said shoes were for squares so I don’t wear them. I’m walking aimlessly. Where is she now. Why isn’t she just in bed. Why couldn’t she find another way to ease her pain. Is there another way?
I end up near the chapel. I walk down the dirt road towards it. The rocks hurt my feet, but it’s nothing compared to the past few days. It’s really dark I can hardly see. That’s why my mom loved it here though. She knew all the constellations, and we created our own. I look up, it’d be so comforting to see some stars, to feel she’s somewhere better. But no such relief prevails. It’s been raining all day I can smell it in the air, it’s still cloudy and I can’t see any stars at all.
I step up the stairs one at a time hoping, not praying, the doors are open. They are, I walk in. It’s so warm inside. There are candles up front, providing dim but substantial lighting.
My mother never really liked to come here to worship, only to admire the chapel’s beauty. I’m not sure she really believed in God. She had faith in something, but I don’t think it was as defined as the sermons she attended. She would always come in and say isn’t it lovely? Looking around now I see it truly is. I look from the candles, to the glass mosaics, to the white flowers. I go to the front and sit like an Indian. I’m waiting for her to pass through me.
She doesn’t. I understand though, I wouldn’t pass through me either. My heart is a black hole.

I’m on a boat. It’s big and there’s a small platform in the center. It’s sinking, the boat is underwater now, I’m standing on the platform. Rose is in the water. I’m screaming her name. I’m crying. You could never tell though, it’s dark out. It’s storming. The sky is spilling water on us, illuminated by lightning. It’s windy I’m freezing, I feel alone and scared.
“Rose!” I cry repeatedly between booms of thunder. I see her drifting away from me bobbing up and down in the dark salty water. She isn’t trying to come any closer to me, she’s just staring. I beg her to swim this way. Why aren’t I in the water too? Why isn’t she in my arms on the way to safety right now? What am I doing? I look to my right, Marla is standing in the boat, the water is up to her knees. She’s staring at me too. Her face is so blank but I hear her silence loud and clear. She has a poisonous fish by her side, it’s coming towards me. I turn back, Rose is much further now, so far away I can hardly see her face. But I still feel them both, I still feel their eyes.
I nodded off again. I’m sitting in my chair at the guardhouse. I hate sleeping. Rose is in my heart in my soul in my mind. I can’t get away from her.
It’s so loud in my head with words I should have said.
I killed her.
I am to blame.
I’m drowning in a sea of regrets.

Marla woke up to yet another day. She sighed and got out of bed. It had been four days now since her last meal, and decided she should go to the pantry to eat something. When she opened her door she could smell pancakes. She felt her stomach drop, it reminded her of a time when her mother hadn’t been depressed and would make breakfast for everyone.
When she reached the kitchen she saw her father sitting at the counter. His head hung low as though he were a toddler staring down his veggies. Next to his place was a second plate of pancakes. She took a step forward and he looked at her, “hungry?” She nodded her head and sat down next to him. Marla tried not to look at her father, she could tell he was crying and wasn’t sure what to do about it. Their family had never been all too close, they had an unspoken don’t talk, don’t tell, don’t feel law. It was strange for Marla to see her father feeling like this but she understood. She put her hand on his shoulder and he shook trying to fight back tears. He collapsed on the counter crying and she leaned on him more gently stroking his head.
Then he got up. He sniffed and said, “Well I better be off to work. Finish those flapjacks.” She looked at him as he sauntered towards the door. He paused before leaving, “I love you.”
“I love you too daddy.” And with that he grinned a little. This made Marla light up. It was odd but through all the darkness and solitude she had been through over the past week, a small reminder that she still had someone served her well.
Marla finished her breakfast and rinsed her plate. She decided it was time to visit her mother. She hadn’t gone to her grave since the burial and felt that that was wrong. So she left the house, down the road, and around back of the chapel just to the left of the woods.
When she got to her mother’s stone there was about nine letters resting under a bouquet of flowers.
“They’re from your father,” it was Rabbit.
Marla turned around, “How do you know?”
“I told you I hang around here a lot. He really loved her, you know. He’s having a hard time.”
“Yeah, we both are.” Marla looked at him and noticed he wasn’t wearing shoes. “Why are you barefoot?”
“Out of respect. For Rose I mean.” Marla was confused with where this guy had come from and how he knew so much about everyone. He continued, “How are you doing?”
Marla paused for a second. He was a curious fellow but something told her it was okay, she could put her trust in him. “Awful. I want to die. I don’t see the point to living if we are all constantly in pain. All the bad on this earth outweighs the good. I’m beginning to think my mother had the right idea. I can’t leave my father though. I feel like I’m caught between a rock and a hard place. I’m frustrated. I can’t help but feel angry she left us like this. I can’t come to terms with her death. This is simply too much.”
“Through death, we learn, we live, we let go.” He was looking directly at her with his warm gaze, it made her feel better. “Shall I see you tomorrow?”
“Here?”
“Yes, here.”
“Sounds like a plan.” Rabbit walked off into the woods and Marla stood there and watched him until he disappeared. She knelt down to her mother’s stone and picked up a letter.

Dream a dream of you on our bed. I wish you were here my love, I really do. I’m lying in bed right now, thinking of you. I can feel your skin so near, I can almost smell your peach scent. I wish you could hold me right now. You always scared me with your words. It hurt to hear you in such pain. But you would always come around, you would give me a home within your arms, talking of your unconditional love for me. You’d hold my head close to your heart so I could feel you. I wish more than anything to hear the soothing sound of your pulse once more. That sound was music to me, it melted away every bit of pain. You would run your fingers up and down my skin, your way of telling me ‘it’s okay. I’m here now.’ But now where are you? My dear, we need you so much. Years will go by and I will dream of this. I will always love you, never forget that. I will be waiting for you when you return.
-p

I’m reconstructing you in my mind. It’s not the same. Come home please.

I’m sorry I didn’t do more. I keep thinking of when you told me every time you think of me flowers grow from your grave. I visit you daily, the only flowers are the ones I bring. Does this mean you’re moving on?

I knew you were dying. As things got worse and worse I could feel you going away, as though the safety of your hand was slipping from my own. And it was the darkest feeling to come over me. I should have stayed home that night. I knew I had already said too much, so why did I leave?

It feels like you’ve left nothing behind. I’m stuck I don’t know what to do. The day you left my heart stopped beating.

I’ve seen your face before. Now I’ll always wonder why you don’t know me anymore.

I feel weak. The fact of the matter is I cannot be angry any longer. All I have is sorrow. I haven’t any energy left. All I can do is mourn over the loss of my mother. She is no longer here to tuck me in at night, hug me when I’m sad, talk me through times of stress, care for me when I am ill. I have no mother. She left. And that is that.

I wish she were here, I really do. I love my daddy and only hope for his happiness. But she left half a soul behind, left to roam the world alone. My father was deeply in love with my mother, and still is. I hope things get better for us. I want him to feel again. I don’t wish this constant heartbreak on him, and I’m sure my mother didn’t either when she ran off to that perfect light above.

I was angry. So, so, so angry. Angry she wasn’t there, angry she gave up, angry that now not even her body is here. Angry she was selfish; angry she hurt my father and I. but not anymore. Now I am numb. I feel a cloud of despair lingering over my head, making my days darker and colder. It’s hard to move.
The sun will be setting soon; I’m going to meet up with Rabbit. I step outside the house. It’s not much of a sunset, the colors are very bland. I begin walking towards the lake, the hidden one in the woods behind the cemetery. There I will tell him. I will simply tell him everything there is to tell. I will open myself, I will spill myself, I will cry, I will suffer once more; I will be human one last time.

The love of my life has left this earth. She is beyond me now, and there’s no bringing her back. I have just realized she is truly dead. This one moment of sudden apprehension has frozen my entire body over. I cannot move. I have no emotion. All I can think is the reality of it all. She left me. Forever. I am without her. I cannot go get her back. There is nothing left to do but mourn. Mourn for what though? Was she real? Did she exist? Did she live here, did she breathe here? No that I realize she will not walk in through that door, there is a wretched emptiness inside of me. It now feels real, it now feels as though there was never a Rose to begin with.

Marla stepped outside and made her way towards the chapel. When she got there Rabbit had already been waiting.

“Good evening,” he said and grinned.

Marla smiled at him. She could feel her pulse pumping faster and faster, the blood in her veins chilling. She was ready to tell him everything, to let it all out. “I’ve wanted to speak to you for quite some time now.”

“Let’s first go down to the lake. It’s beautiful there, you’ll see. But look at me,” he paused and looked straight into her eyes. There was something about his gaze that relaxed her and made her feel safe, “everything is going to be okay.” His voice was low and smooth caressing her strained mind. She trusted him and they walked on.

When they reached the lake rabbit first commented, “Isn’t it terribly beautiful?” And sat down.

Marla looked around. There was a certain stench in the air, a stench of dying hearts. It was dark and eerie, the air was sticky, and a kind of fear emerged as she looked around in utter darkness.

All was quiet, scared of what might happen next Marla stood up, but slipped. She fell into the water in front of her which she found rather odd in her state of confusion. Sugary tides were embracing her, the water invited her, it pulled her from everyone and everything. Such freedom scared her however. She felt as though she was experiencing the liberty of death, but deep down she truly did not want to go. She was frightened of leaving her world behind. She was frightened of being nothing.

Finally she washed up on shore, with no idea where she was. Out of panic she stood, and simply begun to run. Marla ran as far away from that water as she could. Scrawny tree after scrawny tree she ran through the forest, cutting her bare feet along the way. Tears streamed down her face she couldn’t express how she felt there was so much that just couldn’t be decoded into the English language. Finally she stopped, and dropped to her knees, her head in her hands, and screamed. It was the most glorious of screams in fact. It was like an ax breaking the ice of a thousand tears frozen in time. And there she was curled on the ground, pinned to the cold dirt; suddenly thoughts flowed through her body. She wanted to stay there forever so peaceful so gone so dark so away so dead. Then she heard it. She heard the skinny trees creaking as the wind blew against their frail branches. The leaves brushed against each other and whispered to her, here in the forest dark and deep. i offer you eternal sleep.
In a slow controlled but lifeless motion she raised her head from her hands her eyes still wet with tears, she looked up. “No.”
And with that the sky was brighter; the air was fresher, the day kinder.

The clouds cleared, the sun shone down on her face warming her skin. The sky was a crystal sapphire, and the breeze was warm. She stood up with a new soul, with a new mind. Rabbit came from behind.

He gently touched her shoulder and in a careful and tender voice he spoke. “You understand now, don’t you?”

Marla frowned for a moment comprehending the events which had just taken place. As she viewed the world in this new perspective, one which her mother could never really fully grasp, she whispered, “Everything will be all right.”

Rabbit grinned a satisfied grin and turned away, walking along. Marla decided the one place she needed to be was home with her father. As she walked back she wondered if they would move back home, or somewhere new altogether. It did not matter however, they were family and they would stick together throughout it all. Now that Marla could be strong, she knew she had to support her father. So with a happy and thankful heart she stepped through the door, head held high, and ready for the world.

I do not believe my mother’s death was in vain. I believe there was a reason. I believe her life, her thoughts, her beliefs, her feelings; her actions all helped me grow. Because of my mother I have learned. Because of my mother I am me. She is me and I am her. Because of my mother I can live. We will be together again one day, and until then she can watch me thrive in this ugly world. She can see how strong I have ``become—and she can be proud.

I feel so free and I feel so right. I never thought I’d feel like I feel tonight.



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