Great Suffering

She walked slowly down the empty hall, counting each soft step. She was a beautiful girl, everyone said so. Long, brown locks fell down her slender back and her eyes were a vibrant green. She wasn't very old, still a child in so many eyes. Everyone wondered about her age and one day she heard someone whisper, "She doesn't seem like a teenager, but she isn't even twenty five yet is she?"

When she reached step number 382 she stopped and opened her eyes, not having realized she closed them.

Her heart pounded and blood rushed to her head rapidly. It was her body's way of reacting to the pain in her heart. She fell to her knees, as she always did, and her hands reached out, shaking noticeably, to touch the stone in front of her.

Each time she came here it was a new pang to her heart. Sometimes she would think it was all a nightmare, but she couldn't deny the stone cold proof beneath her fingers. Why did she even come here every day to torment herself?

The stone in front of her had an inscription engraved on it in an elegant script.

"A daughter who had all of our hearts. Maya Jane Collins. 2023- 2027."

It was real then. Her daughter was rotting under her very knees, untouchable. She felt her heart freeze for a moment, as if the realization that her daughter was gone killed a piece of her, then it restarted with a painful thump. She breathed in sharply, pushing through the horror. It was so much to take, so much to feel at once. Maya missed so much in life and what could she do? Hadnt it been her job to protect her? What mom couldn't protect her daughter from a drunk driver?

Why did she lose her daughter but keep her son?

Her son.

That was the only reason she lived anymore. Her beautiful little boy was everything to her now, more than air, more than food, and more than water.

She stood up, her hands falling away from the cold stone. Her feet carried her back inside to her husband, her other half, and her little boy. She wondered if Kyle knew where she went every evening while he watched after their son.

"Honey? Hurry, you're missing it! Adrian called me daddy!" Kyle's voice said from the bedroom down the hall.

She'd buried their daughter in the back yard.

"Coming." She called and wiped away the stray tears that had escaped. She would kill herself a little more tomorrow.