I vaguely hear her footsteps from downstairs, the soft padding of her dress shoes against the wood floor. She's coming up. I smile at the thought of seeing my love again. It's only been a few hours since I've seen her last, but I miss her already. I slip on my tan and black tribal print dress, my navy blue suit jacket over top of that, and walk over to my bed. I pull my combat boots out from underneath our bed, looking at the worn leather lovingly. As I put on the boots, I hear her enter our room. Grinning broadly, I look up at her, quickly realizing that something's wrong. Something is very off.
I look into the mirror in our bathroom. My bathroom. She's never coming back. She'll never return to her old love, a broken mess of a girl that can't even keep the remains of her heart together.
"Hey babe," I say, still smiling as I pretend not to notice that something has changed drastically.
"I need to tell you something," she whispers, signing the words so she knows that I know what she means. Her voice is barely audible, a soft breath of music that floats my way ever so slowly.
"Alright?" I rise and go to her, looking into her deep brown eyes as I approacher her. I hold my hands up, fidgeting with them nervously as I await her words.
"I'm sorry," she chokes out, tears forming in her lovely orbs.
I stare into my bloodshot eyes. I look at the collar bones that jut hideously from my skin. My scraggly hair is in a mess on the floor behind me and in the sink in front of me, leaving my head with scruffs of dark, curly hair on my head. My pocket knife is still clutched in my shaking hand. I throw the utensil used for removing my hair into the mirror, watching as shards fly at me. My skin gets cut as the pieces of mirror shoot around me, the knife being lodged in the material where the mirror once was.
"For what?" I ask. My heart starts racing in my chest, and my breath feels nonexistent. No. She can't be saying this.
"For doing this." She takes my sweaty hands in her own, her slim fingers trembling softly. "I have to do this. As much as I love you, I can't be with you any longer."
No… No. No. No. No. No.
The wounds on my skin relieve me from agony made from the decaying heart in my chest. The rawness of the wounds feel wondrous. The splinters feel glorious. The mirror shards in the sink in front of me taunt me, asking to enter my skin. I would love to put them inside me, to reopen the wounds that love left in me.
My hands go numb, unable to feel her warm hands holding onto my hands for dear life. I take my hands from hers, reaching up to turn off my hearing aids before she can say anything more. My vision begins to blur, but she remains in focus, always being able to have my attention. Her mouth continues to move, but all I can hear is her voice, telling me that she's going.
I can't take this any longer.
"I can't be with you any longer."
She's been gone for four years.
"I can't be with you any longer."
I've been broken for four years.
"I can't be with you any longer."
I've been an addict for four years.
"I can't be with you any longer."
I've been wanting to die for the past twenty-eight years.
She takes my hands back in hers. Her soft lips mouth the words, I'm sorry.
I can't believe her. As much as I want to take those two words into my heart and hold onto them forever, I can't. I can't believe that she's sorry for this. Two years. Two years of love that has sent 730 bullets into my heart in only a few seconds. They ricochet around my body, exiting my skin swiftly and agonizingly.
Before I know what I am doing, take my hands from hers and reach up to turn my hearing aids back on. I realize that tears are rapidly streaming down my face, showing her that she is causing me agony. She doesn't know. She has no idea how much agony I am feeling right now. My bones are shattering. My lungs are filling with cement. My nerve endings are ablaze with flames that are burning my heart of coal.
I grip the handle of the knife, yanking it out of the wall behind what was a whole mirror minutes before. I hold up my left forearm, my trembling right hand grazing my knife against my skin. Crimson regret drips from my wounds, letters forming her name. I carve her name into my flesh, reliving the agony she has caused me as the blade digs far down into my pale flesh.
She whispers my name. She reaches up to touch my face a final time, her fingertips gently brushing along my flushed cheek. She whispers my name again. Please, she mouths. Please say something. Anything.
I try to speak, but all that leaves my windpipes is a choked sound. I raise my violently shaking hands, roughly signing, I can't.
I can't say anything to her. I can't sign. I can't speak. I can't communicate anymore. I'm sorry, she signs. She kisses my tear stained cheek, turning and practically running out of our room. Now my room.
My head spins, and I end up laying in the tile floor in a mess of shredded skin, hair, and filthy clothes. My heart pounds in my chest the way it did the first few minutes without her. My breath feels nonexistent again, and I hope for the twentieth time that I will actually die this time.
Pills. That will work. That will end this misery.
I force myself to get up off the floor. I rummage through my drawers beneath the sink, looking for the sleeping pills I bought last year. It's definitely out of date. Never opened. If I take all of them, there's no way that I'll survive.
Before I know what is happening, I rip out my hearing aids, throwing them across the room. I clutch at my head, falling to my knees in a mess of choked sobs and violently shaking limbs. This can't be happening. This has to be a horrible dream, a nightmare, anything but reality. This can't be real. It can't be.
As quickly as I can, I take all of the pills. My mind begins to fade away, and I grab the knife, grasping the handle in my shaking hands, the blade facing my chest. I stab myself in the heart, letting the knife kill what is already dead.
The funeral is today. Her parents called me the day that they found their daughter in our old house, her blood filled with medication and a dagger lodged in her breast. It's my fault. It's all my fault that she's dead.
She's actually dead.
I cannot believe that she did this to herself. I never imagined that this would be her fate. I had always hoped that she would get over me and find some sweet deaf girl to spend the rest of her life with. I never expected her to carve my name into her forearm as she was killing herself.
I open my eyes, staring up at the pale blue ceiling of my new apartment's bedroom. I imagine that my ceiling is the sky, or her eyes. She had the loveliest eyes I had ever seen. They were such a beautiful, pale blue, almost an aquamarine colour. God, do I miss those eyes. All of these four years alone, I have wanted to go back to her. I should have gone back to her.
As much as I want to lie in this bed until I finally die and join the love of my life, I force myself to get out of bed, shower in boiling water, and get dressed for her funeral. I put on a pair of black trousers and a long sleeved black sweater that she used to love. I put on a black skull cap over my lack of hair, suddenly remembering how she would kiss the back of my neck in the morning to wake me up. I slip on the pair of combat boots that she got me for my birthday five years ago. I still wear them every day, a reminder of the love we had shared for so long. Not long enough.
I go to my closet, searching for something important. After a minute, I find it underneath a copy of her favorite book- a volume of Shakespeare's greatest plays. I take it and put it in the back of my pants, covering it with my sweater. I glance in the mirror to make sure that it is fully concealed. It is.
Now it's time to go.
I drive to Chatsworth's Cemetery in the snow, just now realizing that it's her birthday. She would have been twenty-nine today. I follow the crowd of mourners to her grave. I listen to people say kind things about her. Her younger sister reads the poem that my love had written for their mother and read at their mothers funeral. Her little sister is all alone in the world now. Their father was lost in the Towers, their elder brother was killed in Afghanistan, and their mother died of cancer seven years ago. Her little sister is all alone.
After her coffin is buried, I follow the mourners to our cars. I pretend to leave, drive around the lot, and go right back to her fresh grave. It's time for me to do this, once and for all.
I get out of my car and walk to her grave marker. There she is.
I take the pistol out from the back of my trousers, cocking it and keeping it in my hand for a second. I have to tell her something. I know what to do.
I drop the pistol to the ground and begin signing to her. This way, her soul will definitely be able to know what I mean.
"I've never stopped loving you," I tell her grave marker. "I have always loved you. I loved you when when we first met at the Byrne's School for the Deaf in seventh grade. I loved you in ninth grade when you came out as a lesbian, telling the world what I could not. I loved you when we graduated from college at twenty-three and moved in together."
My hands start shaking from the cold, but I keep on signing, even when my lungs begin to burn from the cold. "The only reason why I left in the first place was because I though that you could find someone better then me to spend the rest of your life with. I had hoped that you would find a nice deaf girl, move to a deaf community and have plenty of children and grandchildren. I always wanted you to have a better life then the one you would have with me."
I take off my skullcap, revealing my bald head to her. "I had just been diagnosed with cancer, and I had thought that if I had stayed, we never would have been able to survive with the hospital bills. You never would have been able to survive with watching another person you love slowly dying, decaying away into oblivion. I couldn't do that to you."
I crouch down and pick up the pistol, standing up and putting the gun against my head. "I have three months left to live. I can't wait three months to finally join you again."
I pull the trigger.
I collapse against the ground, blood splattering against her grave stone as a mark of my lost life.
White. All I see is white. I look around what I assume to be heaven, considering that hell would never be as pure and clean as this. So, I'm finally dead. I'm out of my misery. Then why does my heart still ache so badly?
I search for someone, anyone. As far as I can tell, I'm all alone.
"Where am I?" I ask out loud, looking around for someone. Suddenly, an elderly black man in a white suit appears in front of me, scaring the bejesus out of me. "Oh my God!" I jump and step back, wondering who this person is.
"Please don't take my Lord's name in vain," the man smiles.
"Oh, I'm sorry." I grimace, hoping that I don't look as guilty as I feel.
"It's alright," the man smiles warmly at me. "I am Raphael."
"I assume you know who I am," I flush.
"Yes, I do know who you are," he tells me. Then he gives me a fairly grave look. "Tell me child, why did you take your life?"
"Uh… um…" I think about what to say. I suppose that I should tell the truth. "I wanted to get out of my wounded skin. I didn't want to live without her anymore, so the only option I could think of was to end my misery by overdosing. Or by stabbing myself in the chest, because that is how I officially died."
"Thank you for being honest," he smiles at me again. This kind man is beginning to scare me. I'm not used to people being so nice to me.
"Where do you suppose we are?" he asks me.
"I don't know," I tell him. "I guess we're in heaven, considering that it's very white and extremely silent here."
"How do you know that we are not in hell, or somewhere else?"
"I-I don't know." I have no idea what to say to this man. Raphael, I remind myself.
"She should be joining us soon," he tells me with a morose look in his dark eyes. They're so much like hers.
"She's coming here?" I ask him. "She's coming here? Why?" My heart begins to race, and I immediately begin to think the worst. "She doesn't-" I can't think it. She couldn't kill herself over me. Could she? I hope to God that she doesn't.
"She does." Raphael steps towards me, reaching out a hand. "Come with me, child."
"A-alright." I take his warm hand and follow him. Somehow, we end up in what I assume to be a huge cloud. There are many doors around, each one a different shade of white and off white. Each door as a different name on it in a lovely cursive script, some doors have more than one name on it. I quickly find the door with my name on it. It also has her's on it.
"Why are both of our names on the door?" I ask Raphael. I look up at him, and he smiles down at me.
"True loves always share the same bit of heaven."
White. So much white. Why is there so much white?
"Holy crap!" I turn around and find an elderly black man standing near me in huge expanse of white. I flush and look down, looking back up at the man a bit guiltily. "You're God, aren't you?"
"No, I am not," he gives me a gentle smile. "I am the angel, Raphael."
"It's nice to meet you, I suppose," I tell him. God, I feel like an idiot.
"It would be nice to meet you at a different time," he tells me.
"Am I in trouble for killing myself?" I ask him.
He shakes his head. "You are not in trouble. I am here to take you to your part of heaven."
"So we are in heaven," I half say to myself. Raphael chuckles softly. He offers me a hand, and I hesitantly take it. I follow him, and suddenly we are in another white place with about a quintillion white doors. "Holy crap."
"Please do not say that," Raphael tells me.
"Oops," I mutter. "Sorry."
"It is alright, child." He leads me towards a door with my name on it. It also has her name on it.
"Are we both staying in here?" I ask Raphael. He nods and smiles. "Go to her." Then he disappears. I suppose I won't be seeing him again any time soon.
I open the door, my jaw dropping as soon as I enter the room.
We are in a pure white library, thousands of books on all four walls around a white grand piano and a white bed. I find her sitting at the piano, playing a lovely song and singing softly in her beautiful voice. No one would ever expect her to have such a magnificent voice, but she does, even if she was not able to hear it for most of her life. I walk to her, noticing that her hair is extremely short, almost in a mens cut. She wears a white tee shirt, a pair of white jeans, and white combat boots on her feet. Her voice dances around our corner of heaven as I walk to her. I wonder if she can hear me.
I call out her name.
Immediately, she stops playing. She rises and turns around to face me, a bright smile on her tear stained face. She whispers my name, calling it out louder and she runs to me. She tackles me in a hug, clutching onto me for dear life.
"My God, I have missed you so much! And I know that I am not suppose to say that, but right now, I don't care. I have missed you so much!"
My arms wrap around her surprisingly thin frame, definitely not the pudgy form that I remember from before. She babbles for a minute about how much she's missed me, and about how I was an idiot for killing myself for her.
She pulls back and stares at me with bloodshot eyes. The blue of her irises stand out even more against the red of her eyes. Her breath begins to come is gasps, and I reach up to cup her face in my hands. "I am so, s-so sorry."
"I-It's alright," she whispers. She reaches up to touch my cheek, and I smile sadly at her. She grins through her tears, her face lighting up brightly.
"I love you so much," I whisper to her.
"And I love you even more."
We hug each other tightly, never wanting to let go of our beloved. Then she pulls away.
"Why did you kill yourself for me?" she asks. She wipes the tears away from my eyes that I didn't even know had begin to fall in steady streams. Her eyes beg me to answer, and I do. I tell her absolutely everything.
"You should have told me," she bursts out angrily when I tell her about my cancer.
"I didn't want what happened with your mom to happen all over again."
"You still should have told me!" She looks absolutely furious. I can tell why.
"Do you blame me for our deaths?" I ask her.
She shakes her head and strokes my cheek tenderly. "I would never blame you for our deaths. We all die eventually, for it is inevitable. If anything, it just brought it closer together sooner then expected. Can… can I ask you another question, love?"
"Of course," I whisper. I lean my forehead against hers, loving the feeling of her skin against mine. I believe that I have missed this sensation more then anything else; feeling loved and feeling love towards the woman that loves me more then anything else. "Whatever it may be, please, ask it."
"Do you hate me for killing myself?"
What? "How dare you ask that!"
She looks at me with fear and agony in her eyes. Her lip quivers, and she asks with a wavering voice, "W-what do you mean?"
"Do you really think that I could ever hate you? I love you more then anything else in the world! I could never hate you!"
"Thank you for saying that," she chokes out. She loops her arms around my neck and holds me close, hugging me again and whispering that she'll never let me go again.
"I think it's a bit late to say that, considering that we're both dead."
She pulls away from me and chuckles darkly. She shakes her head and sticks her tongue out at me. "Just because we're both dead, that doesn't mean that we can't be taken apart."
"I won't ever leave your side again," I tell her. "I swear to God, I will never go again."
"Thank you for saying that," she murmurs. Then she does something that I don't expect.
She kisses me. She presses her soft lips against mine, breathing love into my loveless soul. I return her affection, ironically feeling alive after the past four years of being completely and utterly alone. We break apart, still holding onto each other tightly.
"I will love you forever," she whispers to me.
"As I will love you forever. I promise."