Winter

My life is gone.

It lies there in the grave, clutched inside the casket by the two icy hands of my lover. There is nowhere to turn now- nothing left to live for- for with his death, my heart was ripped into a thousand bloody pieces. I can feel nothing. No pain, no love, no warmth, not even the biting winter air as it rushes through my hair. All I can do is stand and stare at the rough wooden casket as mourners around me throw handfuls of dirt onto its freshly hewn surface.

We had everything, my lover and I- everything that two people need to be happy. Love and each other. It never mattered that he and I hadn't had a cent between us. We had had something that the world couldn't take away. And that was all that had mattered- each other.

"That's foolish," You say. "No one can live on love alone," You say "No one can live without food to eat and a home to shelter them." But you are wrong. We lived, he and I, and we were happier than most who had food, home, and plenty of money. What good is a scrap of wood when you have joys to share? What good is a cut of meat when there are sorrows to bear? What good is a piece of gold when there is anger to relieve? We had something that would not disintegrate with time, something that could not be destroyed.

We had the beauty of springtime in our minds, for in the spring our love was first tended. It grew surely from a seed planted to a strong oak, unbent by the hardness of life. In the spring we first found our hearts melded together, inseparable as light is from the sun. We laughed in the gardens of blooming flowers, and sang in the solemn mountains. We marveled at the first light of dawn and basked in the glow of dusk. Life was made more beautiful because we had each other.

In our hearts was the warmth of summer, for with the coming of summer the heat of our love was kindled. It flamed from a small candle to a bonfire of warmth, unquenched by rain. It was brighter than the fires of the sun. We played in the warmth of the summer breeze, and splashed in the coolness of undiscovered lakes. We ran with the strong summer wind and rested in the green fields of wheat . Our days were happier because we had love.

The majesty of fall was in our souls; for with the fall came the everlasting love. Our inexperienced love was gone and in its place was love that would never leave. It was as the everlasting sky, always there though clouds may smother it and the day changed to night. We caught the falling leaves in the autumn, and watched them float away in the breeze. We braved the cold nights and walked in the warm days. Life was better because our souls were clasped together.

But now it is winter and my lover is gone. He was taken with the chill of the wind, ruthlessly slain by the falling snow. His breath ceased with the last falling leaf, and the glaze of the frost covered his eyes with blankness. The last moment of his life is one burned into my memory for all the ages to come. I cannot bear the thought of living another day without him by my side. Life is nothing but a fleeting memory, love is nothing but a lost hope. There is nothing in winter.

I am empty…

…cold…

…lifeless…

Just like my lover buried in the unfeeling ground. The blandness of the snow around me has seeped into my body and it covers my future just like the falling snow blankets me. I cannot feel; my heart is numb. It is as though it were cut from my body and buried along with my lover. I stare at the people who are mourning around me, their faces sorrowful and their eyes filled with tears. "Your tears are useless," I want to tell them. "He is dead and nothing will bring him back." But my lips won't move, and my voice… it has died to a whisper within my mind.

As I stand unmoving, they begin to leave. The pastor has ended his prayer and stands, watching as they whisper condolences to me. I cannot hear their words- I can only see their uncaring faces as they pass. They do not know that I have ceased to hear, that I have ceased to feel, and the love I once felt is gone with my lover's life. I stand stiff as his mother embraces me, sobbing uncontrollably into my snow-covered jacket. Her husband stares at my emotionless face with a look of anger. I can see his ire in every wrinkle of his face. Does she not care? Is what he is wondering. Her lover is dead and she stands calm. He does not know that I died with my lover.

At last they are all gone and the pastor smiles reassuringly at me. Through the barrier of my silence he speaks.

"Your life will soon return to normal, my dear. God did not take away this life for nothing. When He closes a door, somewhere He opens a window." With that, he nods and pats my shoulder, leaving me. Running to his warming car and matronly wife, he pulls away from the parking lot and leaves the scene of the graveyard behind. I hear his words bouncing back and forth through my mind and the lack of feeling in my body contradicts what he said. My life will never be normal again. My lover was taken mercilessly from me. Why? Where is the window that opened when the door on my life was shut?

I stare down at the freshly covered grave and finally move. The headstone is covering quickly with snow, as is the fresh dirt, and I trace letters of his name, now carved in stone.

Again…

…and again…

…and again.

And then I can feel the pain. As if my lover had reached up from his grave to replace my heart, it beats with stinging agony and pushes tears through my eyes. They trace quickly frozen paths down my chilled skin and stick to my cheeks in frozen droplets. I cannot bear the pain; the heaving, breathtaking pain that invades my body. Why? Why, why, why? Please come back! Life is gone without you! What will I do? How will I live? Please, come back!

I lie down in the snow; I don't care that it settles on my body, melting on my face and freezing in my hair. My life is gone, but now I can feel the abyss that was cut into my heart when he died. And I can feel the pain.

Slicing pain. Cutting into my body with knives of steel.

Throbbing…

…stinging…

…bitter…

…pain…

Agony fills my being.

My mind tells me that it has been hours, but still I lie, sobbing. My body is sending my mind warnings, and I know I am much too cold. I can no longer move, but I don't care. What is there to live for? My life is below me, cold and enclosed in a wooden casket.

I do not think I can bear it anymore.

And then I feel strange warmth that is creeping up my body with soothing fingers. I focus my eyes on the falling snow; my tears have stopped. The numbness of my fingers has given away to warmth, as has the coldness in my body. My heart still aches, but I can breathe again. I lay still and see blackness darker than the night. It is looming up on me, a chasm of warmness. I let it take me. I can no longer feel the cold winter chill, and I can no longer see the dim light of wintry day. All I feel is warmth, all I see is blackness. Perhaps I will find spring again, and summer and fall.

And perhaps I will find my lover…

… and I will live again.

END