I envied them. All of them, every single one. With their dashes of colour and stunning suits, plastered faces and gallant haircuts. I hated that they could have tears running down their cheek, and trembling lips. I shifted my gaze; a young girl was sniffing and sobbing into a handkerchief. How dare she. How dare she turn her face before me, and cry? But most of all, I envied the flowers. So bright and full of light. Caressing my remains like they wanted to show me up. How could they show me up? I was the star tonight, only me. This is my day, and I get to be there.
Everyone starts moving towards the stage, I stroll over, and stayed standing, I wanted a good view. No: I deserved a good view. Half of the guests were crying. How dare they. How dare they cry… when a single tear hadn’t shed down my cheek? I shouldn’t have come. I tell myself. I laughed at the reality of my situation; I didn’t know what else to do. I wanted to cry, that’s how I imagined it, that’s how everyone would imagine it. Sadness, depression, tears. But no, I didn’t want that, for the simple reason that I myself wasn’t crying. I was to numb to feel anything, anything at all, anything but hate and anger. No regrets were flooding through me. That was the only thing I did expect.
I would never regret what I did.
Everyone but me was sitting, but I couldn’t see them, they weren’t here. I craned my neck, looking over my shoulder just to check, and relief washed over me, my panic subsided. Two figures were walking towards the display. My heart clenched. This was a bad idea. I saw the defined outlines of them more clearly, I turned away. I couldn’t do this, it happened for a reason; I shouldn’t be here at all. I rested my head on the tree beside me and breathed deeply, taking in the earth’s air, as much as possible. Who knows how long until I’ll never get to breath it again? Not long a voice whispered to me.
I should leave. I will leave. It was just too painful, what was I thinking? I walked away, across the grass and escaping from life.
“December 18, 2002.” A voice started in the distance. “Is the day I met Nadia.”
Pain exploded in my stomach as my heart managed to squeeze all the oxygen from my body. I wanted to run to him. Show him that he wasn’t alone, that I still cared, that I was still here; that I still loved him. I couldn’t run back though. I just… couldn’t. So I forced myself to sit down, I knew that if I lingered on him I wouldn’t be able to ever let go, but if I got up, I would surely run to him.
“I remember the day so clearly,” He muttered, sniffing his nose. He had been crying, his eyes were puffy and his nose was red. On a normal day, he could’ve been mistaken of being ill; he looked the same, but probably felt one million times worse. At that moment a young girl ran to him and stood there, hugging his legs, she was wearing a red dress with a yellow bow on her head, making a deep contrast between her coffee coloured hair. “Go and sit down, Erin.” He said it without any force at all, so softly it was barely a whisper.
“Where’s mummy?” She was innocent. An innocent mind and body. She didn’t deserve this; she needed a family to grow up with. She needed me.
“She’s…” He took a deep breath. “She’s waiting for us, sweetheart.” She nodded and clambered back onto her chair. He smiled. The tips of his lips hooked my heart. He turned back to the audience. “It was in a library. I had just gotten my order of…” He looked elsewhere, trying to remember. It was a hot chocolate. My brain screamed, remembering the moments of our past we shared. “Oh yes, a hot chocolate. I had taken it in, oblivious to the sign which clearly stated ‘No drinks in the library’.” He chuckled. “The librarian told me off, I remember feeling like a school child, being told off for a silly rule, and on the way out of course; I spilt it.” His eyes twinkled in the story. It was like his own special flashback, he was there, and the presence didn’t exist at that point, the sadness didn’t exist at that point. “I went straight back to the café, and she was sitting there already, I got my order again, and just went and sat opposite her. We just sat there, staring into each other’s eyes just watching each other. And that was the day I met her.” Despite the story, the mood hadn’t changed.
“February 3, 2003; is the day I fell in love with Nadia.” Those twelve words were enough to melt me. Make my bones jelly. Those twelve words were the exact same words he melted me with, made my bones jelly with, on the day of our wedding. It seemed like such a long time ago.
“April 19, 2004; is the day we got married. And May 21, 2005; is the day she brought Erin home.” Erin grinned at the mention of her name; her dimples highlighted the blue in her eyes. Blue like the sea. Blue like water. Fresh and beautiful. Blue like the water that had tried to drown her. Blue like the water which threatened to steal her life, her soul. Blue like the water that filled her lungs, blue like the tears streaming down my face at this very moment.
The crowd stayed deadly quiet.
“And January 31, 2012; is the day she died.” He scanned the crowd, not necessarily looking for anything in particular, but as his eyes landed on the people closest to me, his hazel eyes drifted into mine, and I felt like I did the day in the café, the day I had met him. I felt like he could see me.
Before my mind could register what my legs were doing, I was runny towards him. My heart was on fire. It was a strange sensation, I discovered, being in such excruciating pain, but unable to stop moving. My bones were made of lead, but some unknown energy forced them to continue to work with my strained muscles and continue through the crowd. I reached out; his eyes had followed my every movement. He could see me. My fingers ached to touch his skin, and as I stretched out, every fibre of my body shattered and it all went black. I hadn’t even got to look at my daughter for the last time.
I collapsed on a floor, my hand stung from where it nearly touched my husband. I could smell my own presence. The obscurity of the place welcomed me. I could sense secrecy and isolation as I placed my steps on the smooth floor, under the pitch black clouds. My body appeared as nothing but a mere shadow underneath the jet black sky.
The absence of light scared me.
The floor that had just been solid supporting under my feet disintegrated, I fell into what felt like water, it drenched my clothes as soon as I touched it, all of my surroundings was a clear night sky, without stars. The black was everything, but black is nothing.
I swim around my clothes drag me down, but I haven’t got the power to take them off. A wave plunges over my head, toppling me over, twisting my body, tearing my skin, splitting my lungs.
I was so lost. So lost, and unable to find home.
I swam to the top of the water which submerged me, coughing and spluttering all the water that had joyfully filled my lungs. I spotted two figures in the distance. Erin was one of them, my husband- the other. As I squinted I made out another form, lying on the floor, drenched. Aiden was hunched the body. I wasn’t prepared to realise that the body he was leaning over was my own. But at the same time, I expected it. I recognised the surroundings now, like the wave had washed me to safety. Well, it didn’t, not really. I was watching my last seconds of life; I could watch myself, through my own eyes, at a distance.
My tears started to mix with the water. The water that had drowned me. Took my life- stolen it. It had also tried to take Erin’s life. It was a thief, a soul- sucking monster. But I still didn’t regret it: saving a life worth more than mine, it was worth it, and I’d redo that over again. All my pain, all the sadness, the end of my life, I’d go there all again. Because the feeling of death is unexplainable, painful yes, but not as painful when you know you have relived someone of the pain.
I immerse myself in the element that feels like soft velvet, gliding through its depths and feeling one with the destructive water. Energy flows into and through my body, giving my arms and legs the power to stroke and kick, as I watch the mystical light playing amid the undulating currents in silvery whites and blues, time stands still. Every stroke closer to my loved ones, the further I move away. My soul fleeing the body it had lived in for its whole life.
I collapsed, once again, onto the floor I had been on only minutes ago. The blackness was still there, as though I imagined all of the water. Abruptly, Aiden’s voice filled the air; the air I once thought was a vacuum, vibrated with his sweet words. “And today, is the day I miss her most, and I will stop loving her.” It echoed, as if there were walls standing beside me. When his voice had finally ended, his last words of my funeral speech, I looked up at the night sky once more. Would the floor collapse again? But no, it didn’t. Once a black sky, lit up with millions of stars.
And I envied them. Their life, there brightness, the fact that it wasn’t my day anymore. I had passed that lifetime. I could never return. I am only a presence now, a presence of a dead memory.