Kill Me Out Of Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
A short story circled around a wife repaying her husband who years ago saved her from the fiery hell that was a burning building by saving him from the fiery hell that is a life of agony after developing a serious repiratory condition

Submitted: January 24, 2014

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Submitted: January 24, 2014

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I turned to look at him now, a feeling of sorrow overwhelmed me. His once warm eyes had now been replaced by these vacant, icy blue ones. His pale complexion mirrored the colour of ash. Stiff legs hung from his gaunt body. He was motionless. Although he had expected to have given up using his breathing apparatus when he retired from the fire service many years ago, it was now constantly on just to allow him his next breath. Nevertheless the struggle for each breath would soon be over and I, his loving wife, had been chosen as the person to aid him.

As I draped the blanket over his legs, his eyes flickered towards me and a pang of guilt washed over me but also a feeling of admiration. This had been, and still was, the man who had saved my life those many moons ago.  The thoughts of that day- the burning building, his face as he carried me out, the relationship that grew from the flames…finally now I could repay my debt to him…

***

I remember that day so vividly as if it happened yesterday. Outside it was raining. The piercing beep of the plastic alarm clock was immediately pacified with a jab at the snooze button. Four snoozes went by, until I finally began to haul myself out of bed. I drew back the curtains and the orange glow of urban light dazzled my eyes. Opening the window, the city sounds invaded my mind. Some dogs’ howling drowned the noise of wailing sirens and squealing cars on the sluggish morning commute. Petrol fumes wafted in yet there was a feeling of freshness in the air. I limped into the bathroom half-awake. The mirror reflected a body, a zombie, whose face displayed relentless tiredness. In other words I was sick, so I had decided to take the day off.

If only I could have known what this decision would lead to. 

Apparently a candle was the cause: a candle in the downstairs’ flat.  Such a tiny flame changed everything forever. 

I smelt it first and rushed to the main room. Upon leaving the bathroom I could see the grey clouds hugging the windows. Smoke was everywhere. A blanket of mist obstructed my gaze from seeing anything further than a few feet away from the window. .  I tried everything I knew to survive – soaking a tea towel and breathing through it but it all was insignificant. The weird thing was the silence.  You imagine flames to roar and crackle but things just burnt silently.  I remember crawling up into a ball and waiting for the building and the flames to just engulf me. In a way to give up was comforting.  I had given up on myself or of any hope that there was anything anyone could do to save me. The heat was too intense and soon my body was overwhelmed by fits of coughing. I could feel myself shutting down. My eyes bulged as I gasped for each breath. It was then, in my biggest time of need he came to me...He hoisted me out of that fiery hell, pulling me closer into his red uniform and strong arms. He flashed me a twinkling grin, "Don't worry, you're safe now," he smiled.  I never forgot his calming face as he carried me to safety. It was love at first sight.

In the days afterward he came to me in the hospital and our love grew. Soon this hero became my husband.  It’s not too strange - they call it survival syndrome.

 

 ***

I think of this meeting now in the grey room that has been changed into a makeshift care centre for my dying husband. Years have passed and the poison that infected my husband’s lungs throughout his career has changed from hugging him to squeezing him from the inside.  Thus every breath seems like his last.  The sound is horrific.  The wheezing and the choking of the man I love. The feeling of doing nothing.  The knowing that he will be better off dead.  The understanding that you can kill someone out of love.

I disconnect the breathing apparatus and begin to hoist it off of him. Pulling him closer to me, his body becoming progressively colder as if the blood was being flushed out of him, I comfort him just like he had done to me when carrying me out.I can’t bear to watch this. It’s taking the strength of every fibre in my being to hold me back from reconnecting his life.  I just keep repeating internally, ‘this is what he wants…this is what he wants.’  His life had been a living hell, the flames of depression and anxiety had ruined him but at least he had a choice over how he wanted to die. 


© Copyright 2019 Culi Rafaela . All rights reserved.

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