Dead Leaves

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Status: In Progress  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic


A woman named Eleanor tries to save the last bits of her dying relationship; quite alike to the leaves that are struggling not to fall and wither from their branch.

Submitted: December 26, 2017

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Submitted: December 26, 2017

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Eleanor stared at the plate of rice and curry sitting on the table in front of her languidly. Her face looked tired and weary.

The kitchen had pristine, white walls; a contrary to the gloomy atmosphere that surrounded her. The light that entered through the small opening created by the curtain of the window illuminated the dark circles under her eyes. They were more prominent now, compared to before, but she didn’t care anymore.

There was no longer a need to look beautiful anyway.

She chuckled bitterly to herself as she lightly grabbed the letter in front of her. The letter on the surface showed small creases; evidence of the countless times of it being opened up then closed again.

Eleanor didn’t know how many times she re-read the letter over and over. Maybe it was a way for her not to forget; or maybe she really still hasn’t bottled it all up yet.

As she started to tear up, her hand holding the letter shook and she put her hand over her mouth to try and stifle her cries. It has been a year already, Eleanor reminded herself. She still felt like this was all just a bad dream. She wished that this was all just a nightmare and she would just wake up.

As she continued to cry, a hand suddenly clasped over hers and she looked up.

“Kira?”

Tears suddenly start to well up in the corner of her eyes.

“You came back.”

“Yeah,” Kira said with a comforting smile. Kira looked from across the table and spotted the plate.

“You made curry.”

“Yeah, it’s your favorite.” Eleanor lowly whispered to herself. “Was.”

He tightened the grip on Eleanor’s hand, which still held the letter. He gave Eleanor a concerned look.

“Eleanor, stop doing this to yourself.”

“Do what?”

“Crying every day. Hurting yourself like this repeatedly.”

Eleanor lowered her head and revealed a forlorn smile. “I can’t.” She locked gazes with Kira. “I can’t go on if you’re not here.”

It was Kira’s turn to bow his head, avoiding Eleanor’s gaze. “You know in our circumstances that it’s not possible now.”

“Why? Can’t you see me in your eyes anymore?”

Kira softly smiled at her. “I have always loved you Eleanor. You know that.”

“Then why? Why are you so far away that I can no longer reach you?”

Kira sadly chuckled to himself and he proceeded to lock his fingers with Eleanor’s. He stared at their intertwined hands, feeling the familiar swell of warmth in his chest. He then proceeded to bend over the table that separated them, and held Eleanor’s face gingerly in his right palm. Closing his eyes, he kissed her gently.

There was something about the kiss that Eleanor couldn’t explain. It wasn’t just a peck out of guilt or formality; nor was it a kiss of fervor.

It was a kiss of longing and of warmth that seemed to try and explain the things that couldn’t be done so with words. A kiss that had a bunch of emotions bundled up together; covered with a layer of pain and regret.

Eleanor shed a tear as she tried to take in all the emotions that Kira was sending her along the way. Over the course of events that happened unexpectedly over the few months, she was desperate to feel Kira’s love on her again.

She was desperate for a love that was no longer there; a love that had shriveled up like a dead autumn leaf that left her ruined and crippling over something that was gone too soon.

As Kira started to open his eyes and started to create distance between them, he met Eleanor’s moist ones. His heart clenched at the sight as he tried to wipe the tears off her face.

“You shouldn’t cry anymore. You have to move on from me, Eleanor.”

Kira took the letter from Eleanor’s grasp. He sat down on the chair again and chuckled as he realized that it was his own handwriting on the letter.

“The letter that I wrote is already so messed up; full of wrinkles and all.”

He tried to lighten up the mood by having a relaxed stance and a light expression on his face.

“You still read this?”

“Every single day; ever since the day after you left,” replied Eleanor. She was already calmed down too or perhaps just tried to.

“Oh,” Kira could only say.

“How did you expect me to do all of those things?” She spoke in such a hushed manner that Kira wouldn’t have heard if he hadn’t been paying attention.

“You,” Eleanor’s forehead started to crease out of anger. “How could you just leave like that?! You know how much pain I had to handle after reading your letter? You know how much pain I had to handle seeing your relatives look for you and was feeling the same thing as me?”

Kira could only bow his head down in shame.

“Why’d you do it?”

She waited for an answer.

After a minute of deafening silence in the room, she asked again. “Why?”

Kira gave no response and just shifted in discomfort.

“You could’ve just told me, you know. If you were hurting so bad, you could’ve just told me.”

“I know,” Kira muttered softly. “I’m sorry that you had to go through all the pain.”

“Winter misses you so bad.” Eleanor was referring to their adopted dog. “Ever since you left, he’s been constantly whimpering; seeking out for your scent.”

“Really?”

“Yeah. Ever since you left, you took out a piece out of every one. Not just me.”

Kira circled his thumb over the letter; creating a pattern in order to ease his mind.

“Don’t you regret it a bit?”

It took Kira a while to answer before he stopped creating circle patterns on the letter.

“I do. Especially looking at the state you’re in.”

They could only look down and share a painful silence between them as the clock ticked by. Everything’s already broken and unfixable. The two could only regret as they suffer over the painful memories that could’ve had a better action.

Eleanor broke the silence first with a motion of her hand reaching out for a pen. She took the letter from Kira’s hand, surprising him a bit and proceeded to scribble on the crumpled sheet of white paper.

After a minute of writing, she capped the pen and placed it back to its place. She handed the letter over to Kira which he received gently.

“I…” she began. “Just like you said, since we can’t do anything about the past now, I’ll move on. The memories between us, I will forever keep and treasure. I’ll carry you with me wherever I’ll go but I, I’ll be strong and do the things you weren’t able to do. That all is what I can promise.”

Kira smiled warmly at Eleanor like a burden has just been lifted off his chest.

“Thank you.” A lone tear escaped his eye. “For being stronger than me.”

“I’m finally at ease; knowing your resolve to live.”

Eleanor also started to tear up.

“I’ve been asking God over these few months to watch over you. Every day that you shed a tear, I cried with you too. I was a foolish man, I know.”

“I was a fool,” he repeated to himself slowly.

“It was painful, watching you in agony over what I’ve done.” Kira smiled sadly.

Tapping his fingers lightly on the table, he looked up and met Eleanor’s gaze. “I’ve asked God too much time.” He looked at her lovingly, knowing it will be the last.

“It’s finally time for me to go.”

As Kira glossed over what Eleanor has written, the planes of his face became relaxed as he smiled up to his eyes.

Eleanor could only look at Kira with a mix of sadness and relief as he started to disappear; his entirety dissolving into thin air. He left his warm smile as he disappeared completely, leaving Eleanor alone.

She wiped the tears on her face with her sleeve as she picked up the letter that has been left across the table.

With it, read:

 

As if every autumn leaf has fallen,

As if everything eternal is going away,

The lone leaf on the branch; it’s crumbling.

I can see it:

The thing called an end.

 

It withers and falls,

Even if I don’t shake my branch.

As I continue this arduous walk,

I no longer see any purpose.

 

If you’re asking the reason

Of why I decided to go,

It’s because I was hurting;

It’s a wonder of how I lasted so long.

 

Only the dirty memories are evident.

I tell myself that the world can’t be perfect.

I don’t want to hurt so I start to let myself go.

 

I gave my sadness to the dog.

It slowly gnawed away at me.

It has finally swallowed me whole

And I’m dead inside.

 

If you ask who’s responsible for this,

Only I; it’s only my fault.

I know it well; I’m hurt because of myself.

If you ask why I passed away,

It’s because I’m exhausted.

There’s no other dramatic reason.

 

Look, to me, you’re still green.

I need you to raise your voice higher;

I need you to be stronger.

Hide your brokenness in confident steps.

Continue to smile even if you have nothing.

 

Be braver than I was.

I will always love you, my dear Eleanor;

You know that.

Please don’t blame yourself and take care of Winter for me.

 

I’ll hold on to the withered memories. You worked hard.

I’ll always love you too, my sun. Good bye.

 

 

A/N: Kira means sun. Eleanor means light of the sun.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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