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The Box

By , Leetonia, OH

The Box

I woke up. My eyes shot over to my wife’s side of the bed. A knife was drawn up above her, glimmering in the light from the lamppost through window. The shadowy figure then ripped down his hand. I lunged to grab his hand in the air. I knew I wasn’t quick enough. The knife dug deep. She never screamed. She never even opened her eyes. He ran but I didn’t follow him.
I sat there in the complete darkness. My arms and legs were sprawled across the bed. I looked over at her. Her blood was running down her body like a red avalanche down a steep mountain, a volcano leaking red hot lava down its peak. She was my rock, and I watched her die. The blood flowed over and touched my arm. I did not cry.
I layed there a long time, thinking. How could this be? Why did this person come into my home to kill my wife? After each time, it never makes any more sense. I got up out of the bed in the complete darkness. Although this is a new house, I had done this many times already; I did not need to see because I knew the way downstairs. Every step of it.
I got downstairs and flipped the light on. I sat down to think again. There was nothing I could do to stop this murder. I never had enough time. I was never fast enough. I was powerless, a helpless ant in a huge world. Maybe I just won’t get up. I’d sit there and wither away into nothing. Or maybe I’d get up and have to live this life forever. The more I thought about her, the more I wanted to try. I wanted to save her, although I knew it is impossible. I loved her so much. I couldn’t just sit there.
I got up and walked into the living room, flicked on the light, walked over to the cabinet, and opened it up. I grabbed the box and pulled it out. Standing up, I looked at the box in great despair. Not again. I set the box on the table and opened it, staring in the contents of the box. My eyes widen and my mind died.
I woke up again.
I lunged to grab the knife once more. I was so close but I was too late. The knife plunged into my wife once more. The rage filled my mind. The killer ran down the stairs and I ran after him. He stumbled down the stairs, which allowed me to follow closely. The door was wide open and he ran out, jumped down the steps and went off to the races. I ran after him. This is not the first time this has happened. I’ve chased him many times before; yet, I never have been so close to him. My mind was razor focused. I was going to catch him this time. My feet were bare; and the my feet were bruised, beaten, and bleeding. Each step grew in the pain. Each step there seemed to be a sharper and sharper rock. I was so close to giving up, but I can’t.
He took a turn off the road into the Harrison’s yard. He ran to the high white fence and jumped up and crawled over the fence. This is the great filter. He always got away at this point. I could never jump over this fence. He was over the fence by now. I had to make a quick decision, so I ran right through the fence. I made it! There he was. I reached out to grab him, but a sharp pain shot off in my leg. I looked down and saw piece of wood lodged through my leg. I could see the wood entering my leg in the front left and exiting my leg in the back right. There was not a lot of blood, surprisingly. My skin was ripped and torn to bits. I could feel the splinters in my leg.
I wish I had at least caught him. He got away. I had to get back to the box. I had to start over. The pain was unbearable, my leg was aching. I propped myself up, took a step, fell back down. Back up, step, down. Fade to black.
I woke up again.
I lunged over to the left of me to stop the killer. I moved the fastest that I have ever moved before. I was not going to be late again. That moment was when I realized: I wasn’t in my house and there was no killer. I was alone in the hospital. I sat there, dumbfounded of how I got here, how everything was calm. It was awkward. I felt as if the walls were watching me. I continued to sit there for a while until a nurse came in.
“Oh, you’re awake! Wonderful!”
“What is going on? I’m sorry I have no clue…”
“Don’t worry, sir, you’re safe. You had a little problem with your leg. I’m sorry to tell you we had to amputate.” Amputated. Amputated? Amputated! The emotions were insane. I lost my leg. I got queasy just thinking about it. I jumped over to the left side of the bed and I threw up. I layed there with my arms sprawled out and cried. My despair ran out of my eyes that day, about my leg, about the box, about my wife. Once again, I faded to black.
I woke up again.
The routine must have been implanted into my mind that I lunge when I wake up. How many times had I gone through that? I have seriously no clue. This lunge almost got me killed for good. I lunged at my cousin while he was taking me home from the hospital. We almost went off the road, luckily my cousin caught the wheel and kept us moving. Not that it mattered, I’m going home to reset. I am not going to live in a life where my wife is dead and I have one leg.
I walk into the house and nothing was the way I left it. It was a post crime scene mess, the furniture was moved and stuff was spread all over the house. I hobbled over to the cabinet, pulled out the box, and looked inside. The contents of the box were gone. There was a note that read, “Make a choice,” accompanied by a lottery ticket and an address. I can reset at any time, I figured.
I woke up again. I didn’t lunge. Haven’t for years. I looked over to my beautiful Natalia, laying on our luxurious bed in a large master bedroom. My mansion in Sicily was ten thousand square feet, sitting on a rugged cliff overlooking the Mediterranean. I had no worries and lived life to its most luxurious extent. I met my wife in a casino in Italy. We got married a month later. It’s been three years together, best time of my life.  I leaned over and gave her a kiss. I got up and put on my prosthetic. I walked downstairs into our huge granite and stainless steel kitchen. I heard a ruckus in the living room and whipped my head around. Three men dressed in all black walked up to me and grabbed me. The big guy gave me a sharp punch to the gut.
“Fun’s over buddy.” He grabbed a black bag and shoved my head into it. I remember those objects. It was the contents of the box. I screamed. I can’t go back now. My life has been perfect. Everything has been perfect. They are trying to take that from me. I shut my eyes. They
beat me until I opened my eyes. I looked at the contents of the box.
I woke up again. I lunged.


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