The Pane.

The lady dressed in black that night. Her gown draped and clung to her body and coiled where it touched the ground and the sill upon which she had placed herself. She sat still and had not moved for hours, save for the slow rise and fall of her chest with each breath she took. Though it was the only indication she was still alive, providing oxygen to her body seemed to her a useless endeavor. In her mind, there was no longer any reason to prolong her existence.

Through the window, she peered out across the vast estate. Just earlier that day she and he had gazed out that same pane, and held each other, and exalted over their magnificent lives. The sun shone across the land and there was no grass greener than theirs. Everything was perfect and happy, so long as they were at one another's side.

Dusk had befallen since then and she now felt none of that. If anything, the prior euphoria had been erased from her heart by the present melancholy. The world, which had once been such a glorious world, was now a horrible place to live and deep in her heart she wanted to leave it.

The heart attack had come quickly and unexpectedly during luncheon. He was gone within the hour, and a terrible hour it was. The whole while, he was gasping and sputtering for breath and clutched his chest and could not speak a word. And she held him, as a good wife would, and tried to remain strong and calm for his sake. After his final breath had been taken, she broke down. For hours she cried and screamed and sobbed and cursed.

Had this all been in one day? she wondered vaguely. An eternity it feels since he looked into my eyes, and longer still…

The accumulation of all prior emotions had boiled her down to this now empty state. All that was left was to breathe.

The servants came and went with each passing hour, attempting to offer whatever they could at times when she might have needed it. She took little notice.

She pressed her forehead against the glass. It was cool to the touch. The room was completely dark now- a maid had lit the candles around eight in the evening but they had burnt out by now. Or had they? Perhaps it was just her heart that made everything so black to her eyes.

The house was so quiet. Everyone excluding her was asleep.

A heavy sigh produced a small fog upon the window before her. She raised a hand to wipe it out and as her fingers came in contact with the pane, tears sprung from her eyes. Her heart sank and breath became difficult; she pressed herself against the glass and cried. How each tear burned against her cheek from the coldness of the

window! But nothing could stop her.

He was gone and she was so alone.

Through the midst of her tears she looked out again through the window and across the land they had earned together. It was nothing now.

Still, she could see him in that land.

She would do anything to be with him again.

She would do anything…

The tears disappeared. With a burst of determination, she resolved that she would be by his side again. All that was between them was that pane.

She recoiled slightly. With one swift movement, she thrust her head forward and struck the glass with her forehead. The window gave way and broke; shards cut her skin and blood was immediately streaming down her face. But it wasn't enough, she hadn't done enough damage and the pane remained. Without a moment's hesitation she repeated the action but with increased thrust. The sharp edges of the glass cut through her flesh and scraped against her skull; minute shards lodged themselves into her brain, destroyed arteries and sent more blood gushing down her face and all over her front. She was blinded by it.

Still not enough.

Determined to get the job done, she pulled back a fist and delivered the final blow: a punch through the window. The glass shattered and the last bits fell to pieces, leaving a clean, rectangular hole. The pane was gone.

She rose. The glass had cut a clean, deep line up her forearm and ruptured multiple veins. There was blood everywhere. She collapsed and curled into the fetal position and held her wounds, but she was smiling. The cold wind blew through the new opening but the blood was too warm to deny.

She would die soon. In the back of her mind she heard the maid entering the room and screaming and rushing to get medical help, but it mattered little. The pane was gone. The pain was gone. She would be with him soon again.