Out Of Love
"Mommy, I did a reverse flip!" The little girl screamed out from the upper floor. Within no time, Harry found her running down the stairs to the lawn, again.
"She seems excited," Harry told the blonde lady sitting opposite to her. Alice was wearing glasses, with blue frames, matching her light blue dress. "Kids always are." She smiled back at Harry. She had a cute smile. Harry noticed that her eyes were also blue; She looked stunning for someone in her fifties.
Harry had always thought of adoption. Ever since Margaret left a void in his life, he never was able to accept anyone. Years later, he could no longer resist the loneliness. Harry was too old for another relationship. That's when he decided to adopt a child, bring her up, and do everything he could for her.
And today, he was going to do it. He had to be a responsible father from tonight; Grandfather. Harry smirked at the thought. "Sir, you have to sign the documents now." Alice pushed the documents to his side. Harry took out his own glasses to go through the files one last time. His work life as an advocate had taught him that.
Having found satisfaction, Harry began signing the papers. The girl was running upstairs again. It was the ninth time since he had come here. "Mommy, Henry pinched me." It was a complaint this time. Harry could not keep in his laugh. He kept on signing the documents. The child was running out again. This was not Henry's best day, Harry tried not to laugh.
He was one happy man. The past few years might have been hard. But, he was already finding happiness in the little girl's actions. When he found Nancy, he could not even think of anyone else anymore. There was something about Nancy that interested him. He knew the life ahead of him was going to be beautiful. He only questioned his ability to run after her all the time. His body might disagree.
Harry passed the documents back to Alice. She verified the signatures and a bright smile crossed her face. "Well, Harry, you ready for this?" She asked. "I am, Alice, more than ever." He smiled back. Nancy had already run upstairs the tenth time. Stairs, Harry thought, glancing his weak knee. Alice was already halfway up.
After some effort, Harry managed to reach the top. Nancy was inside the next bedroom. Alice held out a hand, pointing him to go in. He took a long breath and walked into the room. "Hi, Nancy." The child smiled; her cheeks were so red. Nancy was ten and had brown hair and eyes. She was a little princess. "Hi, Harry." She called back. Harry felt his life was complete.
"Come closer," Nancy whispered to him. Harry tiptoed his way towards her. "What is it?" He whispered back. "Stand straight up" Nancy replied. Harry did so. He was enjoying every moment. He was nearly crying with happiness.
Nancy now held his hand and stood straight up. She then spoke out loud, "Mommy, this is Harry. I like him. He is nice." Harry followed her eyes, and his sight landed on the portrait of a beautiful woman. Harry recognised her at once. He had only seen her as a child, his child, his Elsa. It was his daughter. He never thought he would find her again. But here she was.
Tears brimmed Harry's eyes. Nancy was not one to adopt, she was his own granddaughter, the daughter of his Elsa. Her brown eyes and hair; Now Harry knew what held him close. He embraced Nancy tightly, standing on his knee. He kissed her again and again and again. He cried, out of happiness, out of contentment, out of love.
I constantly grieve for you
Oh, how I used to hate you
I once saw in the reflection
Someone looking to be adored--
Eyes polluted with sorrow, a gaze
So bleak that a mannequin looked more
How could you still feel?
Why did you still try?
Where the answer lies
Resides behind that doleful look
That opaque oasis that we call will
And you willed your way there--
To the state you're at now
I used to hate you, but
Now, I think I love you.
“Help!” her voice echoed in the deserted street.
“Steve, wake up! Steve, I am dying!” she screamed, but he remained motionless. His head was stained with dark red blood and his skinny, fragile hands still held the steering wheel. She couldn’t feel his pulse and his pale body grew cold like stone. The sparkle in his eyes was long gone.
“Wake up, Steve! You promised me you won’t let go!” she cried, pulling him by his shirt. She felt every second she shared with him travel through her mind. She couldn’t take it anymore. The baby in her womb was kicking her so hard. The pain was unbearable. She hated crying, but tears fell easily from her glassy green eyes.
She fought opening the door and fell to the ground, her head slowly sinking into a pool of blood. She couldn’t understand what was happening. And suddenly her mobile phone vibrated. She tried opening her bag, but her eyes failed. Her heartbeat started to fade. Her eyelids fluttered as darkness descended on her vision. She knew that her soul was slipping away. All her memories seemed to turn volatile and for one last time she whispered, “Steve...”
Have You Ever Experienced A Moment Like This
Into My Life
We became good friends,
shared daily stories
about our daily lives.
I saw you as someone special,
someone I could love.
You looked at me simply as a friend.
I watched, listened,
of the sorrows of your life.
With each new relationship you had,
you knew you could trust me,
because we were friends.
All you wanted was “to be loved,”
words you would say after each hurt.
“Perhaps the next time will be the best of times,”
I would say, privately wishing it would be me.
Then you saw your last sun rise,
breathed your final breath.
Love never touched you,
the way you dreamed it would.
Into my life you came,
a one-sided love affair,
and you never knew.
Photo used with permission by slmnten
and i met you like lovers often do
in the wee hours of morning
coiled around stained pillows like a fetus
in pink-coloured dreams and you had told me
i looked pretty and i had smiled-
your warm hand had felt numb
against my cold skin
and i had asked you if this is what
love felt like.
the air was rose pink rose pink like
rock salt like
pink froot loops like
and no you never loved me
i knew that but atleast i had something
to hope for to pray for
when i saw you in biology
we were dissecting frogs you had
asked what would happen if
we pulled his heart out and i had thought what
would happen if we pulled my heart out
would it still beat for you?
you had told me you loved
sky-blue skies but
professor higgins had told us to
quit chatting and work instead
you had poked the frog with the blade
and it had bled bled bled red like
my beating heart like
a blood moon like
and then summer was over in a wink
i saw you in school with her you
were holding her hand
and i had felt empty my throat was dry like
a california beach you saw me and smiled
i tried to smile with all my strength but nothing
came out nothing. she waved to me i didn’t
wave back i’m sorry.
she showed me her new shoes
they were purple- no not purple margaret
say with me violet violet violet like
air filled with envy like
lilacs that die so quickly like
and we were at a party when you
said come with me margaret we need to talk
the balcony was chilly but i still went
you held my hand and you said margaret
we were never a thing i never liked you i’m
i had cried in the bathroom while
the rolling stones sang
paint it black black black like
brittle charcoal like
mascara mixing with my tears like
and it was six in the morning
your mother was crying her heart out
on the dining table she told us
you hadn’t come back last night we
called the cops they said they’ll check
and we got a call from the hospital they
said you were in an accident that
you were drunk and you rammed
the nissan into a tree
and we rushed to the hospital we
rushed to you.
but it was too late the nurse said you died
during surgery shards of metal had
pierced your chest you
coughed blood and you had asked her
if they could pull your heart out
and replace it-
you had laughed in the
face of death in the
face of fate.
the air is warm with sorrow
the colour of grief is blue blue blue like
your smashed nissan like
sky-blue skies you loved like
grief-stricken memories like
"How have I never seen this movie before?"
"I honestly don't know. I always thought that you had, so I was really confused when you said you hadn't. I'm guessing you liked it then?" I asked brimming with excitement. Please say you like it, it's one of my favorites. Please, please, please be proud of my weird taste in film.
"You want my honest opinion?" He slowly breathed out and gave me a sideways glance. I vigorously nodded in response. He sighed and closed his eyes, as I held my breath in anticipation for his answer. Silence.
"Sam?" I quietly prodded. "Saaaaam?" Still no answer. He had fallen asleep, again.
I sighed. I should have known. It was never easy having a conversation with him after he pressed the button needed for physical relief. I never knew what to expect when he did that. Sometimes he'd have vivid hallucinations I'd have to bring him out of, or play along with, just long enough to get him to sleep. And sometimes he'd simply pass out. I never minded when he did that, I thought to myself as I watched him sleep. He looked so peaceful. There was no pain when he slept, or at least it didn't seem that way.
I furrowed my brows and tried to get my mind off of that. He's sleeping, and he's happy for now.
Beep....... Beep…… Beep……
The strangely, at times, calming alarms from the numerous monitors surrounding his bed were becoming noticeable again. Think of something else, anything else.
I got up from the always uncomfortable hospital room chair, and walked over to the window that practically took up an entire wall. The sun was going down and the last of its light glistened on the snow-covered landscape. "So, this is the New Year?" I whispered to myself recalling lyrics to one of our favorite songs.
Beep……. Beep……. Beep…...
I felt something wet slide down my cheek. Don't cry, not here, you need to stay strong. I tried to reprimand myself, but it was no use. I wept silently and turned to look at my brother hooked up to those awful, yet necessary machines that were literally keeping him alive. He was still sleeping thank God. I wiped the tears from my cheeks with the long sleeves of my zip-up hoodie.
"God, I hate this place," I spoke through the soft noises of beeping machinery.
"Me too sis, me too." A gasp left my throat as I turned to look at my brother who still had his eyes closed.
"Sam? When the heck did you wake up!?" I practically yelled at him from the shock of his unexpected response.
"The whole time," he opened his eyes and I could see the faint shimmer of tears beginning to swell in the dying light. They started to fall. "I'm so, so sorry sis," he slowly breathed out as he closed his eyes one last time.
This sound. The dreaded alarm indicating a loved one’s departure from this earth. A sound that no living soul ever wants to hear.
No no no no no no no.
Why is this happening? Why can’t I breathe? Why aren’t you breathing? Not. Like. This.
I couldn’t speak. I tried to scream out to the nurses for help, but when I opened my mouth, there was nothing. No sound but the blood rushing to my head, and the horrible endless beep from the heart monitor. I wanted nothing more than to destroy it because it was lying. It had to be lying.
But it wasn’t. The nurses rushed in and time slowed to a snails pace. This was happening. I was losing my brother and the world would continue on as if nothing had changed.
He never finished telling me whether he liked the movie or not.
I felt my body begin to shake in disbelief, as my legs gave way beneath me. A pair of strong arms wrapped around my back, and held me in place so I didn’t hurt myself on impact with the ground. It didn’t matter. No pain could phase me now.
Within seconds the nurses had surrounded my brother’s body, trying desperately to revive him, as one continued to keep me in a vice-like grip attempting to contain my situation. It couldn’t stop the terror that came in waves. Holding me in place only served to make this reality more tangible, and all I wanted was to escape it.
The nurse, holding me from behind, began to speak to me in calming hushed tones. “It’s going to be okay, breathe through it. Just breathe.”
How dare they tell me it’s going to be okay!? None of this is okay!
In my anger my breathing became erratic, almost in defiance of their suggestions. The nurse responded to this change in behavior with a tighter embrace. They were so close to me now I could smell them, and somehow it was so familiar to me.
I know this smell. Why do I know this smell?
Their arms fastened around me more gently now as the nurse tried desperately to comfort me. “I know you probably can’t hear me, but please try to wake up. Stay with me. Please.”
Why are they talking like this? Why do I recognize this voice?
The alarm continued on, and everything became so blurry and confusing. The hospital lights began to fade as the nurses blended together around my brother’s bed, and my vision became hazy. The only constants were the consistent beep, and the arms that snaked around my waist holding me close to their owner.
In moments I felt a heaviness lift from my eyes, as if I was regaining consciousness. I felt the arms around me give me a slight shake, and just like that, I was awake.
The memories came flooding back, as the remnants of the vivid nightmare dissipated. There were tears streaming down my face, covering my pillow in wet pools. I sloppily wiped the tears away from my eyes, and realized that the loud beeping noise in my apparent nightmare, was coming from the alarm clock by my bed. I quickly reached for the shut off button, but was held back by those strong arms still wrapped around my torso.
I turned my body to face the one holding me there, and was met with my husband’s eyes. They were wrought with concern.
“Hey hon'", my voice cracked in a feeble attempt to reassure him. "It’s okay. I’m awake now. You can let go.” He nodded, and slowly removed his arms from my waist, as if he was afraid I would break into a million pieces when he finally let go.
When his arms released, I turned back around to end the cursed noise of the alarm clock. Then I faced my husband once more.
He regarded me carefully before asking what it was that gave me such an awful night terror. My thoughts drifted back to the dream. To the memory of my brother.
It’s been several years, and I still dream about his death. When will this nightmare end?
"It's nothing,” I replied, tired of explaining the same dream over and over to him. “Just another memory nightmare," I placed my hands in his, as he wove his fingers through mine squeezing my hand in understanding. I knew that he would know what it was about. He always knew, and he never judged me for it. He was an expert at mending my brokenness now.
We lay in bed quietly for what seemed like eternity, before I exhaled slowly breathing out the last of the nightmare's effects. "Grief never really goes away does it? No matter how long it's been," I asked, fully knowing the answer having lived it.
He shook his head, indicating that grief is forever, and then laid it on my shoulder. I sighed still wishing my brother was here, hurt that he would never get to meet this caring and gentle man that laid beside me. "Cancer really sucks."
Do You Remember?
Remember when we were young?
When mom and dad would tuck us in?
And read us a bed time story?
They’d check under the bed for monsters,
And come running when we cried out at night.
Do you remember them saying,
“Don’t let the bed bugs bite.”
And how they would plug in our night-lights?
Remember when we were young?
When mom and dad would kiss our skinned knees,
And our bruised elbows?
When they would buy us ice cream when we were sad?
They’d let us stay home from school,
If we said we didn’t feel like going.
Do you remember them coddling us,
When we were sick,
Knowing our misery?
Remember when our parents protected our innocence?
Sent us inside when dirty jokes were made.
Covered our ears when they cussed?
Covering our eyes in a movie when it started getting steamy?
They said no child needs to know that.
They saw our innocence and loved it dearly,
Going through any means to make it last.
Do you remember them protecting our innocence,
No matter what anyone said,
Because it meant that much to them?
Do you remember growing up?
When they began scolding telling you to stop crying.
When they stopped kissing the hurt,
and holding us in their warm embrace.
When we "were big kids" and needed to become independent.
When they threw away all our toys because we were "too old"?
Do you remember growing up,
When you were thrown to the wolves,
And innocence wasn't a thing anymore?