Burning Love

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Romance  |  House: Booksie Classic
What would you do for love?

Submitted: April 21, 2013

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Submitted: April 21, 2013




Jacob saw the light from a few blocks away.  It was a false sunset even though it was nearly nine at night.  He had just got off work and his girlfriend had not answered the phone when he had called to get a ride.  Walking in such a beautiful night wasn’t that bad; in fact it gave Jacob a chance to think about his future.  In his pocket happened to sit the most valuable object he had: his future, his present.  A two hundred dollar diamond ring, not the biggest or most elaborate but it was all he could afford, literally.  He would not be getting any new food for the next week because he spent his grocery money on the hope she would say yes.

Jacob looked up the falsetto sunset was growing, he wondered if maybe one of the more well off kids were having a bon-fire.  It was Saturday and odds were there was going to be dozens of parties.  Parties he wouldn’t attend since he gave up drinking, and just about every other vice he had once possessed, for his girl.  Oddly he didn’t even feel like trying the party scene any more, Twenty-three black hair and blue eyes he could have easily walked into any house on this block and been welcomed with open arms.  So many of them were his old friends, and others were simply his siblings past party buddies.  However, now he was done with that ordeal; no more spending all his money on beer and other party equipment.  Now he didn’t need to, however, his still spent his money on get together, game nights, and group dates.  He was basically what he expected to be in ten years.  All he needed was a ring on his finger.  The thought brought him back to the ring in his pocket that seemed to grow heavier with every step. 

The bon-fire took dominance over the horizon demanding attention like a spoiled child.  Shooting rays of ever shade of yellow, orange and red.  The sight was eerily beautiful. The kind of thing that Jacob would have used for one of his photos he used to take for his friends houses, so they could have what they called art in their apartments.  It was one of the one of these little trips that had led him to Nevaeh.  If you spelled her name backwards you got a good idea of who she was; Heaven on Earth.  She had been so kind and sweet to everyone, even the people that were mean to her.  She constantly talked of her relationship with God and how important He was to her.  At first Jacob had admired her for her belief despite doubting everything she said.  Then he began to envy her for her being able to talk to God everyday to have him help her through the struggles of life to give her wisdom and to give her strength.  Eventually he had grown to have a similar relation with The Lord.  Now he couldn’t picture being able to do anything without His guidance.  Now his favorite saying was; “The Lord saved my soul from the Devil but Nevaeh saved my life from me. 

Suddenly Jacob realized what the fake sunset really was; there was no bon fire, no party.  No, now he could hear the sirens, he could see the flashing lights.  Continuing forward towards the blaze towards the home of Nevaeh.  Fear literally choking him as he runs.  Sending silent prays towards God that he was wrong and if not that Nevaeh was safe.  The scene began to race toward him.  The apartment building ahead of him that from afar he had compared to a mesmerizing sunset he now saw that it was as an exploded star not a thing a beauty but one of horror.

As everything became clear his heart dropped to his knees.  His eyes were locked on the third floor, and the inferno that engulfed it.  That was where she lived and that’s where he needed to be.  There were people looking and pointing, firemen trying to control the crowd keeping others out of dangers reach.  Even from the safety markers he could feel the harsh embrace from the flame.  The thought of looking for his love popped in his head.  His eyes scanned the ever growing crowd hoping and praying that he would find her that she was held up at a stop light after spending time with her family, something, anything.  Just please God, don’t let her be home.  He prayed as hard as he could though he knew not if praying harder was the same as praying better; yet he wanted, no needed God to hear this on.  So he willed this by praying harder.  An explosion like one you would expect to see in an action movie fired off from the first floor causing many of the bystanders and emergency people fall to the ground.

Through the yelling and crying Jacob heard the voice he was listening for, just in the direction he was praying it wouldn’t come from.  Nevaeh’s song like voice let out a heart shattering, hope smashing, ear drum breaking scream.  Jacob started running to the opening to the building; no fire in the world was going to stop him from getting to his Nevaeh, not even the horrors of Earth and Hell could keep him from her.  As the song goes “You can stand me up at the gates of Hell but I won’t back down”; and here he was running in to a tormenting flame.  One of the firemen, who recovered from the blast ahead of the others, stood up.  He saw Jacob making his way towards the hungry flames.  The fireman jumped up, ran to Jacob and tried to restrain him.  Jacob saw him coming and dodged under his out flung hands and thanked God for his days playing football when he spun away, giving him a chance to grabs the man’s axe that had fallen during the unforeseen blast.  The man continued chasing Jacob, his gear holding him back, slowing him down. 

“Kid, stop!  I don’t know what the hell you think you’re doing but going in there is suicide.  Damn it kid stop, STOP.

“I can’t, I can’t lose her,” Jacob yelled forward not knowing if he had heard him.

Jacob wasn’t afraid of much; in fact minus his claustrophobia he couldn’t think of anything that scared him, except for what was happing at this very moment.  His fear didn’t stem from the thought that he might die but the thought he might lose her, he might lose Nevaeh.  He rushed forward covering his face with his forearms, thanking God for his jacket.  He broke through to what had once been a lobby area, but now was his image of Hell incarnated into this world.  Everything was on fire, the burning desk that he used to check into when he came to spend time with his girl that sat to his left glared angrily at him.  The elevator mouths gaping in shock at the horrible scene that surrounded him.  To his left sat what used to be the stairs now appearing to be literally a pillar of fire as it climbed out of sight.

Take the stairs.  A voice inside his head told him the obvious but it had shaken him from his unmoving stunned stance that he had adopted after seeing the setting before him.

Hurry she doesn’t have much time left, hurry.  The voice urged him forward reminding him of the urgency of his visit to this once familiar building.  It belonged to a girl but he couldn’t place whose voice it was.  He stepped forward and placed a foot on the bottom stair, realizing that there was a six foot rise between him and the next undestroyed step.  He smiled, thinking; the things I do for love.  He jumped at an angle swinging his left leg up so to push off of the remains of the side of a step that was a little higher than his waist.  It worked the resulting jump boost had made it possible for him to grab another once-been-step with his hands, the burn almost unnoticed, almost.  He brought his feet up and put them flat against the wall as he held on with all of his strength of every one of his fingertips.  He looked behind him, if he pushed up as well as back he might get high enough to grab his goal ledge and continue up to his life.  Cocking himself similar to the way a snake coils before striking he blasted of the walls reaching up and back fearlessly.  He caught a now exposed plumbing pipe his hands screaming from the heat and punishment.  Pulling himself up Jacob’s jacket caught a fallen beam and resulting in his left sleeve ripping off, which was in his favor because just as he ripped away the makeshift platform he had landed on collapsed with the fallen beam landing in a shower of sparks and a fire roaring in pleasure for more food.

HURRY, I can’t keep her safe for much longer, only God has the power to stop death I can only help her stay alive.  She needs you to save her.  The voice returned sounding solemn and afraid.  He looked upward and thanked God for he saw no more holes in the stairs before the height he had to reach.  He ran the voice urging him on, coaxing him to run faster, to move swifter and surer of his footing, promising that he would not fall that he would not slip.  He didn’t know who the voice belonged to nor why he listened but every word brought him more assurance that if he only hurried he would reach her; he would save her.  Just as promised, he reached her floor unhindered; now all he had to do was locate Nevaeh in a hall filled with the tongues of fire that wished to lick away every life they found.

She isn’t in her apartment.  I will lead you simply do as I say.  Move forward.  Jacob began to run through the hall ducking under fallen debris jumping over half destroyed doors that once separated each tenant of this floor that had found their way into the hall during the panic.  His breathing becoming heavy both from the lack of clean air and the running, his vision nearly nonexistent from the long period of time he was exposed to the heat and smoke.  Turn right.  He obeyed the voice which eventually led him to an apartment at the end of one of the halls.  He walked in, now struggling to get a gasp of oxygen; he was now blind too much of the world around him, no longer running but performing a bear crawl moving as swiftly as possible while staying in the most fresh air available.  You’ve made it she is directly in front of you on the ground.  Go pick her up then continue forward till you reach the window and then jump. Trust the Lord that you will be safe.  Knowing he was so close to his goal his muscles shook off their wariness, his drive refilled just in time, he swept the unconscious body in front of him and walked forward, to the window.  It had no glass, he stepped on the ledge and let out one last prayer and leapt, eyes closed.

In an ambulance two paramedics were talking about the suicidal teen, how he had gone through Hell to get a girl only to jump out of the building.  He had to have been unable to see below him because of the smoke.  He fought so much to save her only to gamble with her death on a blind jump.  How lucky he had been to have jumped out enough to land in a twelve foot pool that belonged to the hotel behind the apartment building.  Luckier still, there had been firemen standing near and were able to rescue the couple from drowning, kid’s today are so reckless.

Two Days Later

Jacob’s hands were wrapped he had suffered 2nd degree burns on each of them; his eyes were slowly improving, the doctor was uncertain to how much permanent damage had been done.  That however didn’t matter, what mattered was that today Nevaeh had woken up.

When her eyes opened Nevaeh saw Jacob with a smile on his face; then she looked around worried.

“It’s ok your safe now baby girl; nothing is going to happen.”

“Where is she?  Where is the little girl from apartment 108, I tried to save her that’s why I didn’t get out, where is she Jacob.”

“What other girl, there was only you, nobody else from the building was with you”

“NO, no,” the first a scream the second a whisper, “I promised her that everything was going to be ok, I promised.  I-I told her God would send someone for us, I promised Jacob, I promised.”

Then Jacob remembered the voice, the girls voice that had been telling him what to do and where to go; it had sounded so young, hadn’t it?

“Jacob she accepted Jesus, she was saved right before me, because I told her God would be there for us, that he would help us, now she’s dead.”

“Baby girl, if she was saved then we know where she is, she is with the Lord, she is safe forever, you did well.  You might not have saved her from this death, but your words led her to Jesus and He saved her from the second death, you did well.  Now there is something I was meaning to do that day, and I think I should do so now, not the most romantic way but Nevaeh I realize that I couldn’t live without you, that I would do anything for you, so,” Jacob dropped to one knee next to her hospital bed, “Will you marry me?”

Nevaeh looked at him shocked, seeing for the first time the ring he held with burn smudges on it, barely able to breathe she whispered to him.

“Of course.”

© Copyright 2018 Max Leatherman. All rights reserved.

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