David would never take much notice of how she would excuse herself so suddenly after dinner. He wouldn’t see her gagging, hand down her throat as she tried to rid her stomach of the food she resented so much . He wouldn’t see her slumped in the corner, a trail of vomit running skew ways down her porcelain cheek. David wouldn’t realise the missing kitchen knives and razors, the blood stained towels or her everlasting tears. No, David wouldn’t understand her suffering, and deep inside, she hoped he never would.
Her head had felt leaden that day, a stubborn weight perched precariously on her shoulder, the mass seemingly derived from her unbearable existence. She stole a fleeting glance at the mirror and the image that gazed back, appalled her. No longer were her blue eyes brimming with life and passion, instead, they were filled with a dreary longing for an end to her misery. Her pale cheeks dotted with burst capillaries, miniature rose buds of self inflicted torture. Their petals stung deep within her skin
Sarah had once been a model, her lean frame and pert lips adored worldwide. She had always been there to please others, she longed to meet the one who would do the same for her. Life for Sarah quickly became a catwalk of immense proportions. Everywhere she went, they would follow, scrutinising her movements, her grace, examining how she held herself, shooting disapproving glances at her blunders. It wouldn’t be hard to plummet into torment in that lifestyle, but she was strong. It was years before they finally tore her down in flames. Ultimately, years of resistance had amplified her downfall.
Everything that made her who she was, pulled apart, dissected and recorded by the press. Her fall had been anything but graceful. The only pillar that held her from being crushed without trace, was him. David had been with her through it all, his auburn eyes her only cause for hope. But recently he had been detached. She longed to embrace him like they had at the beginning, for him to whisper in his ear, for her to crackle with laughter.
Today she had tried to call for help, attempted to share her breathing hell, instead, she faked a smile. Her false grin’s presented so frequently, he couldn’t tell the difference. He had laughed dismissively at her, he thought she was fine, sure, wasn’t she always. She cursed her weakness as she vomited into the pallid depths of the toilet bowl.
It had taken her some time to crawl into the hallway and on to her feet. Her steps landing uncertainly on the cold marble floor. She spent over ten minutes simply trying to walk through the kitchen and into the garage, she sighed with relief as she reached the silver motor. She was in no state to drive, she wanted to find support in his familiar embrace, but she needed to escape, if only for a few hours.
He saw her car roll slowly out the garage door and thought nothing of it. She had been acting so strangely recently. After their attempts for a child had failed she hadn’t been the same. He shrugged it off, it was simply a phase, convinced himself she‘d get over it. Deep down he knew something was wrong. He didn’t notice her stare intently at him, pleading for assistance. The car progressed gradually through the gates.
It was a miracle she drove as far as she did without incident, it was as if she didn’t even have the energy to press the accelerator. Sarah gazed at the children playing beside the streets, wondering what hers would have been like had god given her a chance. Would they have his cocktail eyes or her azure ones? Would they get on? Would they be happy? It was for the better she had convinced herself, she was hardly an adept mother.
A young girl with flowing blonde hair, about 6 she estimated, but she had never been good with ages, was throwing a ball to a similar looking child a few hundred yards in front of her. She could see her hopes for a child grow as she approached. She longed to go home, to rest in his arms, for him to say everything would be alright.
Then the unthinkable happened. Sarah had been picking up speed as she reached the children, and hadn’t noticed the children’s ball roll slowly on to the road. The blonde girl ran to retrieve it.
Metal, air, glass, ground and then a silence so intense it threatened to rip her apart.
David had never known words could impale themselves so deeply in on the emotions.
“There’s been an accident”
“She’s been kept in the mater, it’s not looking-” He didn’t even bother hanging up. His mind raced too quickly to focus on such meaningless matters. Why did he let her drive? What had happened? Could he have done something to help her? The questions took mouthfuls of his mind, and devoured him from the inside.
He travelled with such speed and velocity that the ground threatened to be ripped apart from beneath the tires.
The hospital doors wouldn’t open quickly enough as David hurled his body at them. If he hadn’t been so disconnected from his body, his injury would have hurt badly.
“Sarah Mears. Where is she?” The secretary looked him straight in the eye. Emotionless.
“She’s in theatre, I don’t know how longs she’ll be”
“Is she alright?”
She couldn’t bring herself to answer. Tears that he had held back so desperately for the past ten minutes began to stream down his face. His guilt so overpowering, his mind racing for a solution. There would be none.
Reporter’s had already begun to assemble themselves in their various groupings outside the hospital. Staff we’re forced to restrain them from entering. The vultures languished every morsel of information thrown at them. How he begrudged the life he’d once longed for.
Several weeks later the first of the bandages came off. David held Sarah’s hand as the nurse unravelled the pasty binding. Her cheeks when revealed bore great wounds, barely healed as flesh scrambled to cover up her lesions. David couldn’t even bring himself to speak. His hand parted from hers. All his life he had been surrounded by beautiful women, none more stunning than Sarah. His thoughts wandered, and he asked himself if he could love something that repulsed him so much.
At that moment. David had lost Sarah. Even in her forced slumber, she knew they were parted.
“We found lesions all across her legs”
“From the crash?”
“I’m afraid not…”
The bandages around her eyes became damp, unnoticed by those around her.
“I was so blind….”
Unable to open her eyes Sarah dreamt of happier days. But they were not memories. Sarah had only experienced a handful of happy days in all her life, mostly with David. She concocted tales of joy, nights of wonder and days of bliss. But she was never unaware of what her life really was, a squalid existence of torment. She contemplated a life completely absent of happiness, and wished the crash had felled her.
David by day told Sarah she was still as amazing as ever. His words, insincere and ill-imagined stung Sarah’s emotions. At night he hated himself for being so shallow. He resented each bandage that was taken off her once flawless face, the image of her skin giving rise to nightmares. The moon became his only friend. Isolated by his own harsh words to his families, the weeks that had turned to months, were spent gazing at its curved façade. The moon became her. Her face reflected in it’s light. He longed to bathe in it’s glory.
In the accident Sarah had severely damaged her eyes, and the final bandage surrounded her cobalt pools of warmth.
David had longed for this bandage to stay on her forever. He could not bare to look into her eyes, for her to know his love had vanished. The nurse cut the strip of cloth from the back, lifting Sarah’s blemished head. She was limp and showed no resistance. When the binding was removed, Sarah still could not open her eyes. David struggled to look away, he couldn’t move. Eventually, her eyelids parted. She gazed at the ceiling first, then to the nurse. She smiled. David wondered how she could smile at a face so vile. He willed her to not look at him.
Her eyes turned to David and locked with his. All his fear shed in a single moment. Her eyes were deep foaming pools of blue love. Unchanged by her demise, they still retained the warmth they once had. In fact they achieved more.
Hope hit David square in his gut. Realisation poured over and into his soul. Tears flowed relentlessly. The moon would still be as beautiful, because no matter how scarred it’s surface, it still reflects the light. The corners of his mouth rose upwards, his first smile in months, and under all her layers of scar tissue, David knew, Sarah was smiling back.
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