Author: FantasiaFirst PM
A husband's love for his wife...wherein he pursues her even in death.Rated: Fiction K - English - Romance/Angst - Words: 2,955 - Reviews: 3 - Favs: 1 - Published: 06-14-07 - Status: Complete - id: 2376571
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The wind blew across the graveyard, sweeping a single, wilted rose off a tombstone. Sharolyn Kennedy, 1975-2001, it read. Timothy stood in front of the tombstone, head bowed, as though in prayer. His sandy hair, now streaked with gray, whipped across his face. "Please bring Leon back, Sharolyn," he whispered. The words were carried away by another draft of wind, as though they were never spoken.
Leon sat in the doctor's office. Dr William Micheals, the head of the oncology department at the Maris Graham Hospital, looked grim. "I'm sorry Mr Kennedy, the latest results has shown that chemotherapy has failed. The cancerous cells have spread to your wife's heart and lungs." He paused. "I'm afraid there is nothing more we can do for her."
Leon slumped back in his seat, defeated. Finally he asked, his voice a hoarse whisper, "How much time do we have?"
"One month or so."
At the doctor's advice, Leon brought Sharolyn home so she could spend her last days at home. Even though Sharolyn knew she was going to die, she kept her spirits up, smiling even through her pain. At night, Leon kissed her gently on her lips. "You are so brave." Her body was by now emaciated, a shadow of her past self. Leon stroked his fingers through the last few strands of her hair that haven't been ravaged by the intense chemotherapy treatments. Golden threads, he used to call her mane. Now, no longer.
"Leon," she told him one night, "you are the best thing that happened to me. I shall never forget our time and memories together, no matter what happens." They kissed in that moment, and for once in a very long time, he felt strength in his wife's arms. She died, her arms tight around his waist.
Her funeral was held at St.Kreg's church. Hundreds of friends and relatives showed up for the funeral. Leon stood, in the front pew, suited in a dark suit. The church sang together, "Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost but now am found, was blind, but now, I see." But for Leon, he was lost in a world of sadness and blinded to everything else, save for his grief and loss.
June 15th 2001. The day Sharolyn died. A year had past since, and friends and families of the deceased Sharolyn went to pay their respects at the St. Kreg cemetery. One by one, they came forward and placed flowers and cards on her grave. Leon did so last, placing a single, red rose on her tombstone. Tears welled up in his eyes. Softly, he whispered "Sharolyn, how I've missed you. If I could only replace my life for yours…" He knelt, unable to stop the silent tears.
Timothy placed a hand on his son-in-law's shoulder. "Come on, Leon. Be strong. She would have wanted you to be happy, not like this." They stayed there for a long time. Dark, gray clouds started to envelope the entire sky; a strong wind rustled the leaves. It was only when a downpour began, that Timothy led his son-in-law towards the car. When they reached home, the storm continued its rage. Leon poured himself a glass of hard whisky, and went to the balcony, settling in a chair. The sound and sight of the rain consumed his senses. How many rainy nights had he and Sharolyn shared in this very chair? The very thought made his throat clench up. He focused on the raindrops falling from the roof. Pitter, patter. Pitter, patter. After a while, the rain subsided into a drizzle and a cool breeze blew towards him. As he downed the last of his whiskey, he felt much better and slowly, his eyes closed and he fell asleep.
"Leon, wake up. Come on, don't sleep here. You'll catch a cold if you sleep on the balcony". Leon blinked awake, disoriented. It can't be. But when he turned to face the voice, Sharolyn stood before him. "Sharolyn," he wanted to cry out but his throat was choked with emotion. She didn't seem to notice. "Dear, come on now, let's go inside," she fussed instead. He allowed her to pull him along. She tugged him to the bedroom they shared and tucked him into bed. When she made to leave, he grabbed her arm, "Don't go!" She startled at his sudden outcry. "I'm only going to close the window," she said. His gaze followed hers to the open window, the curtains flapping gently against the wall.
His fingers untangled from hers, and he watched her shapely silhouette move, her silky golden tresses floating behind her. She was beautiful, as before, as though cancer had never touched her skin. How could it be? Was it really she? For a moment, he expected her to float out the window and him, losing her forever. But her fingers clutched the handles of the window and she pulled it closed.
She turned to him and her eyes turned concerned. "Why are you crying and smiling at the same time? Are you alright?"
He wiped away the tears on the back of his hand. "I'm alright, honey," but his voice came out hoarse, "it's just that, I'm very happy to see you again."
She walked to him. "Silly you, I'm always here with you. You can see me everyday." She came over to him and pecked him on the cheek. Her lips were soft, tender. Real. He smiled.
She stroked his hair, and smiled back. "I think I will take a shower now and get ready for the dinner at the Celerenzo. You may sleep a while longer if you want."
"Are we having dinner there tonight?" asked Leon, with puzzlement.
"Don't you tell me you have forgotten our first wedding anniversary? You've planned all this."
He sputtered, "Of course not. How can I forget, dear?'
chided gently, "I'm looking forward to it. Don't you make that
kind of joke again."
Then she broke out in girlish giggles and pecked him on the cheek once more, before she entered the bathroom.
His hand came up to his cheek where her breath had seared his cheek. Warm, alive, he thought. He picked up a calendar at the corner of the dressing table. The date, 6th April, was highlighted. Sharolyn had drawn a red heart beside the date. Beside it, she wrote in neat handwriting, 'First wedding anniversary: Sharolyn and Leon.' He reached for the top drawer at his bedside. As he expected, he found a small present wrapped in a lovely pink wrapper with a bow. He knew what it contained: A necklace.
They were back in the year 2000. Impossible. "Dear, it's your turn to take a shower now," Sharolyn interrupted his thoughts. She was clad in a white towel; her wet tresses bundled into another smaller towel. Water dribbled down in a mesmerizing path down the silky bend of her neck. He watched her as she walked to the dresser. She released her hair, shaking it down her back and began to dry her hair. He stood up and walked towards her. When he was behind her, he wrapped his arms around her, and kissed a tender path down the smooth skin of her neck to the gentle slope of her shoulders. He whispered into her ear, "You look beautiful. I'm so lucky to have you." He watched her reflection in the mirror smile and her head press against his shoulder. "Me too," she mouthed.
Celerenzo was a posh restaurant in the city. Soft music floated, the lights were dim, and in the center of the table, stood a pink candle. They ordered steak and red wine. Leon lifted his glass in a toast, "To eternity."
"To eternity," Sharolyn echoed, and their glasses clinked.
After dinner, Leon took Sharolyn to the hill, where as students they always met. It was called 'The Heaven's Hill', named so because of its unobstructed view of the night sky, it was almost as though one could touch the heavens. One could view the entire city lights, a breathtaking sight, from its peak.
"Some people say they've seen shooting stars from here. Maybe we may have that luck tonight?" Sharolyn asked. The two of them sat in the car, their hands entwined in each other's.
Leon smiled. "You know, anything is possible." They enjoyed each other's company in silence. After a while, Leon dug into his pocket. "I have something for you," he told Sharolyn, as he placed the well-wrapped box into her hand. "Happy 1st anniversary."
Her eyes glinted with joy and a little suspicion. "What is it?" she asked.
"Go ahead. Open it."
She did. Inside the box lay a necklace. The necklace was made of fine silver, carved into a heart shape pendant. It had a catch. She released the catch to reveal a picture of them together. A picture they had taken outside their house after their wedding. "It's lovely, Leon. I love it." She leaned over and kissed him. As their lips were pressed together, their tongues intertwined, a shooting star flew across the calm night sky.
As time passed, Leon's life was full of sweet memories. Even though there were times when questions like 'Is this a dream?' danced across his mind, he brushed it off. Being together with his wife was the only thing he ever wanted and he cherished every moment they were together. But what disturbed him at times was, "If this is not a dream, then what is it? Where am I?" He could only see himself living life as it was now, with Sharolyn. Yet, was this the reality as he saw it now? But he didn't dwell on it. He was happy with this reality, and nothing was going to change it.
He began to record everyday details in a diary. He wrote down every little thing that they did together, her every smile, her every laugh, and even the rhythm in which she danced. Before he slept, he prayed that the very next morning, when he opened his eyes, everything would be the same. He knew he couldn't afford to lose her anymore in his life. She was too precious, more precious than anything else in this world.
Timothy walked towards the balcony. He had called Leon on the phone to check up on him but had received no answer. Worried, he had rushed down, only to find Leon fast asleep in a chair. He shook him. "Leon, wake up… Leon… wake up… can you hear me?" Leon did not respond. Timothy rushed him to the hospital. At the emergency room, the doctors checked his vital signs. A baffled doctor reported to Timothy and Leon's other family members, who had rushed to the hospital upon hearing Leon's condition. "It appears that he is fine. His vital signs are strong and he has normal breathing patterns. In other words, he is only sleeping. But because we cannot wake him, we suspect he is in an unconscious state."
"What does that mean?" Leon's mother, Sandra asked.
The doctor replied, "I'm afraid your son is in a coma."
"How could that be?"
"Normally, coma is caused by a drug overdose or a result from head trauma. In sleep, a person is able to react to outside stimuli. But for comatose patients, they do not react to any stimuli, which is the case for the patient right now." He turned to Timothy, "You mentioned that you found an empty cup beside Leon, which you suspect contains alcohol?"
"Yes, that's right." Timothy answered.
The doctor shook his head. "We have checked the chemicals in his blood stream but have found no alcoholic substance or chemicals present. Honestly, this is the first time I've seen such a case. I'm afraid there is nothing more we can do for him right now except to hope for the best that he would wake soon."
But a week passed and Leon did not wake. In the hospital, Timothy sat beside Leon's vegetative form. Timothy's wife had passed away a long time ago; just like Sharolyn, at a young age. His wife had died in a car accident, leaving him alone with their son and daughter. At that time, Sharolyn and her younger brother were still very young. Although it has been over 20 years, Timothy still feels the grief over his wife in his heart. When she died, he had lost a big part of himself. If not for their two children, he would have believed he had lost everything. Sharolyn met Leon in high school and they had been sweethearts and were inseparable since. Everyone knew they were meant for each other. He had always treated Leon as his very own son. That Sharolyn had to be taken away so abruptly had cut a deep wound in his heart. Now, Leon…
On a Sunday night, a lovely calm night slowly began to turn windy, a heavy rain starting to pour. The rain became heavier and heavier. Thunder boomed across the skies. Timothy was unaware of the rains as he was with Leon. His body huddled closer together against the cold instinctively but otherwise, he was in another world…his dreams.
A shadow flitted past. "Sharolyn… is that you?" Timothy called out to the darkness. The silhouette reappeared He moved closer. But no matter how much Timothy moved, he could never get any closer. Another shadow joined the first. "Leon? Please answer me. Is it you?" A loud thunder jolted Timothy awake. He looked at his watch; it was already 2am. Leon lay on the bed, motionless, in his own world.
The next day, Timothy found himself in front of Sharolyn's grave. "Please bring Leon back, Sharolyn," he whispered.
They were on a rocking chair looking at the stars, their bodies pressed together, she on top of him. The night breeze caressed their bodies. Crickets chirped, an owl faraway hooted, together forming a soothing symphony. "I need to talk to you about something important," Sharolyn spoke.
"What is it, honey?"
"There is something you should know…" Sharolyn answered, her voice soft.
"Hey, what's wrong?" asked Leon. He sat up straighter, concerned.
"Leon, we cannot be like this forever." She shifted in his lap to turn towards him, and he saw tears shine in her eyes. "Leon, listen carefully, you and I are not from the same world. Do you know that you are in a coma and in a hospital now? I'm already dead but you can still choose to go on with your life. You still have our friends and family. You should go back."
Leon was shocked. He had no idea she knew they were in another time, but that explained everything. He hugged her closer and whispered urgently, "I don't care if I'm dead or alive, my love for you will never change and I will never leave you again. I love you Sharolyn, with all my soul and my heart, and I want to be with you. Even if it means in death."
She hugged him tightly; glad that he would stay with her.
Leon had a dream that night. He dreamt of a man trailing him from a distance behind. The person called out his name but he could not be sure who it was, even though he found the voice familiar. When he turned back, all he could see was a dark shadow. Every time he turned, the dream would end. Unbeknownst to him, the shadow he saw in the dream was Sharolyn's father. Night after night, both Timothy and Leon had the same dream. One night, a heavy rain came and like before, it rained heavier with time. Leon once again had the same dream but this time, surprisingly, he managed to get close to the shadow and was surprised to see whom it was.
"Leon, is this really you?"
"Yes, dad, it's me. I'm so happy to see you in my dream." Leon jokes.
"Leon, it's been so long a time since you've been in a coma. You should come back now. Many of us are waiting for you to come back. We all missed you.
Leon kept silent. His mind was uncertain. Somehow he knew if he said yes, he would immediately be transported back. Finally, he said, "Dad, I do want to go home but my heart really wants to be with Sharolyn. I don't want to leave her again, not ever and forever." Timothy opened his mouth to speak but a loud boom of thunder interrupted them, and Timothy jolted awake.
The next morning, Leon was officially announced dead by the doctor. Timothy believes he is with Sharolyn now. Leon was buried next to Sharolyn. On their tombstone, the words "Herein lies Leon & Sharolyn Kennedy together forever, in eternity" were engraved.
Even though time passes...the memories of the past will never lose its ways to time...and it shall forever be in the heart of the loved ones as remembered...like the candle itself, once alit, the brightness that it has sparked shall last through eternity…The End.
Author's note: A beautiful story crafted by my friend and rewritten by me two years ago. Not something I would normally write but I thought I would share it.