Friday, November 21, 2008

Falling From Grace

I saw you today, walking to the pier, the way we once did. It’s been a long time since you walked that stretch of land with the earth between your toes. I am always here, walking endlessly and have been for years, consumed with thoughts of you and reprisal, my soul filled with memories, regret and dreams I will never fulfill. Dreams you stole from me, the me you stole from me.It took you a long time to return to your old hunting ground. Years have passed. I had nearly given up hope that we would ever meet again. You were not alone today on the beach that was once our beach with our sand and our water. Instead of my hand in yours, there was another, the one that you replaced me with had her fingers intertwined with yours.You appeared to be in one of your joyful moods that over time became few and far between, as I recall. The sunshine and soft sand with waves all around always did put a smile on your face. I think it reminded you of a home you had to escape from long ago, but all those memories of once upon a time followed you here and settled within you. You shared them with me several times, baiting me with your childhood endearment. I had nearly forgotten those moments, but seeing you there, like that, brought back a wave of memories and tales you told me, crashing up against me without warning. I spotted that sweet look of vulnerability that I had forgotten you possessed. For so long now my thoughts of you were filled with the arrogance and evil that lives and thrives within you, the beast that long ago took over your soul because you fed it and then allowed it to feed upon those that loved you and trusted you. For a long time, your presence had refused to abandon me, every bone in my body, every muscle, every dead moment, and every breath hurting and angry. At you, at myself. Angry for abandoning morality and common sense, angry for failing to protect me, angry for knowing the end would be ice cold and cruel, but committing to it anyways, for making such a rash decision and not being wise enough to know life would go on. Even in that all consuming weakness, I would regain strength and a new improved future would reveal itself. Hurting, for allowing you to rape me of everything I had been, everything I could be. Hurting, for having believed that I could make the difference in you, that you would not be so careless with my heart the way you had been with all the others before me.You walked with her and kept a steady pace. I was behind you for awhile. Then I was in front of you. Finally I found the nerve to walk beside you the way I had so many times before, so very long ago, as though I were searching for those moments, wanting to bathe in them one last time, needing to understand what had kept me there until you’d had your fill of me. You did not see me but you sensed something. You kept looking back hoping to find the negative aura that floated around you, a familiarity you couldn’t put your finger on. You were always like that. A little paranoid, I would tell you. But not this time. This time your sixth sense was dead on. I was amused by the invisible power I realized I had and that amusement filled me with life once again. You and I had unfinished business I reminded myself, remembering why I had come, why my very essence had chosen to stay and wait for you all this time.You kept walking with your hand clutching hers. I caught a glimpse of the expression on her face and realized she too had been hypnotized by you the way I had once been. I slowed my own pace, stayed at a safe distance never loosing sight of you. I did not want the anxiety you would begin to feel, force you to turn around and walk back to safety. I wanted you to keep going, stay on the same path you and I had traveled. It would not take long before you would reach the pier. The summer heat was still a couple of months away. The snow and ice had only just melted. I knew the water there, at the end of the pier was very deep, dark and cold. I knew because I had invited those same waters to swallow me many springs ago.You walked with her until the sand ran out and the concrete walk replaced it. You walked in the direction I knew you would. There were others, a few amateur fishermen with high hopes, standing at the end of the walk way, their rods hanging over the edge, waiting patiently for their first catch of the season. As you reached the end of the pier you lifted yourself up and swung your legs around. She followed your lead as the two of you sat there perched perfectly as we once had, with legs and feet dangling over the edge, the open lake only a few feet below you. I could not have asked for a more appropriate opportunity.I caught up to you quickly and before I knew it I was standing right behind you. I could not ignore the irony. Finally your life was in my hands the way mine had been in yours so long ago. I hesitated for a moment. I listened to you begin to recount tales of long ago and far away, the way you had done with me. The anger and hurt began to well within a heart that no could no longer beat but still feel. I felt a rage build beyond human comprehension and without warning your body plunged from the rock wall into the deep dark waters below. I fell back into the foreground, watching the long anticipated drama unfold before me. I could hear her calling your name, hear the panic in her voice and you, shocked in disbelief by the invisible force that grabbed hold of you keeping you under the water, gasping in fear your hands and legs flailing suddenly slowed to a near stop, barely treading. You were paralyzed by disbelief and fear that filled you to the core of your being. At that very moment, without reason, I came to mind but you shook me from your consciousness. You resumed the fight for your life again the way I had with my own. An invisible force attempting to keep you there pinned to the water, your lungs loosing air, the murky Lake not yet recovered from a relentless winter, waiting patiently to fill them. I could almost see life drain from you. Again, I was amused. Your water logged clothing weighing you down and holding you under as you fought your way to the surface, your heart pounding like a drum. Her hand reached out to you pulling you onto shore. I was nearly touched by her gesture as I watched from a distance. The two of you still in shock, you more than her for reasons you couldn’t explain just then. The fisherman rushing to help you, offering their heavy spring jackets to warm your blue skin, your body shaking. You stayed with the men you had barely taken notice of earlier, trying to catch your breath and make sense of it all in silence, as she rushed back in the same direction you had come from, getting the car that would cradle you and calm you, take you home to where you would be safe and warm once again. They kept asking you questions but you could not answer. Instead you kept looking at the edge of the Pier where you had been sitting before you felt that bolt of force on your back. Finally the car pulled up and you got in thanking the strangers that felt sorry and concern. Strangers you would have ignored under any other circumstance because they had nothing to offer you.Later that night, after the hot shower had taken away the bitter cold sting, after all had died down, you snuck to the computer while she slept. You entered my name into a search bar. It took a few minutes but finally you found what you were looking for. There I was. My face on the screen as it had been earlier that day somewhere in the dark, cold water. The face you could recognize and knew well from many years ago in the archived obituaries of a local news paper. The life that you had taken and destroyed without care or regret. I watched you from across the room in the shadows. Again, your heart began to pound in fear as you sat there in silence trying to make sense of it all. You did not know that I had taken my own life using those same waters as an instrument of my own death. You had left me destroyed and never bothered to wonder what had become of me. Invisible to you, I reached over to the glass cabinet that carefully housed her collection of figurines. The 5 foot tall mahogany cabinet came crashing down without any means of explanation and it was then, at that very moment that you knew. Not only had I been there walking with you to the Pier, forcing you into the waters but that I had somehow managed to followed you home.

"The test of any good fiction is that you should care something for the characters; the good to succeed, the bad to fail. The trouble with most fiction is that you want them all to land in hell, together, as quickly as possible" Mark Twain
Posted by CANUK at 23:52

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