“There is nothing I wouldn’t do, to have just one more chance – to look into your eyes and see you looking back.” – Inspiration: Hurt Christina Aguilera
He swallowed the metallic taste of blood and squeezed his eyes shut. His lips stung but he continued biting them. He refused to allow the tears to fall. If he allowed one tear, there would be no stopping the others. They would stream down his face and unto the damned earth already sodden by the rain. No, he would not cry today – he would allow the skies to wail for him.
Although he stood rooted in his place next to the fat woman in the enormous black hat and a mahogany tree, his insides shook so badly he was fearful he would fall and take the woman and her hat along with him. It was a hell of a time to realize that he was, and had always been, in love with his best friend.
Chronos, the god of time, must have been sleeping on the job for all of the last twelve years. If there was ever a case of bad timing, this was it. Marc stared off into the distance being held to reality by the screams, the wailing, the smell of wet, unearthed dust and the soft droplets of rain falling unto his freshly shaved head, sliding down his face as tears would.
The somber voice of the priest interrupted his steady descent into hell, “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return.”
Everyone joined him then with, “Ashes to ashes – dust to dust…” as Christina’s mother shaking held a fist full of damp, earth and threw into the hole where his Chrissie; bright, vivacious lay in a ivory casket in the yellow gown she had worn to their high school ball.
He snapped slowly out of his trance and took several unsteady steps towards her mother. They had discussed this already – that before they began shoveling the earth unto the grave, trapping her there – those closest to her would place a palm full, for a sense of closure. Bullshit. Nothing would bring him closure. Nothing would bring him peace. Nothing would erase the pain. They could take their sentimental, ritualistic bull and go to hell. Nothing could make this right. Nothing except bringing his Christina back. He glanced through the crowd until his eyes locked on the one person he was amazed had the nerve to even attend the funeral. Richard.
“You must have balls of steel,” he said before he could stop himself pushing through the crowd, ignoring her mother’s voice calling at him to stop,
“YOU KILLED HER. YOU SON OF A BITCH…”
“YOU KILLED HER…”
He punched him square in the jaw, and although Richard stepped backward feeling his slowly bloodied mouth, Marc’s anger didn’t abate, “You were drunk, you knew it. Why did you drive?”
Richard started taking another step backward as Marc raised his fist again.
“Stop that macho-man.”
Marc turned convinced that he was going insane. There she was sitting Indian styled on the wet soil, looking ridiculous in the poufy yellow dress.
She giggled then and he chest felt as if it ribs had been forced upon with pliers so that he could finally breathe.
He took several steps towards her and held her tightly, inhaling the jasmine fragrance she always wore.
“Oh god,” he whispered. “I am so sorry.”
“You couldn’t have stopped it.”
He brushed her hair from her face accepting the lie. They both knew that he could have. They both knew what happened before she got into that car with Richard.
“I don’t love him anymore,” she said matter-of -factly, sitting on the edge of his bed what now seemed like ages ago.
There was something in her tone that had caused him to look up from his laptop, “Really? Come on I have heard this seventy times before.”
She said it quietly as she scooted closer to him.
He laughed not believing her. He really had heard that line too many times before. It was like her theme song after every fight, after every disappointment – and in her relationship with Richard there were many.
“Because,” she started coyly. “I am in love with someone else.”
The shock must have registered on his face because she giggled, “You want to know who?”
He grinned, “We can definitely agree on that one.”
She never did tell him who but she reached over again planted her lips softly on his – then more intensely. He pulled away from her abruptly, “Let’s not go there Chrissie.”
She had recoiled hurt, but he had persisted. He listed the excuses; their friendship was too precious, she was only trying to get back at Richard again, it was too much of a risk.
“Let me take you home,” he had offered, he had needed to clear his head.
She had shaken her head telling him that she rather spend the thirty minute ride home with Richard and hadn’t even said goodbye as she sat on the verandah waiting for her errant boyfriend to arrive. He should have called her back – he should have insisted that … he should have admitted…
“Don’t go there.”
He snapped back to reality – to Christina, in his arms – her large brown eyes filled with unshed tears.
“We can’t change it.”
“Chrissie,” he whispered softly. “I… I love you.”
She nodded solemnly allowing a tear to fall, “I know.”
Then with a kiss on his cheek, she was gone.
The glass vase he had held his tears in for the past week and a half cracked and then smashed into the millions of tiny pieces as he fell to his knees; crying along with the rain at her half filled grave.
“I love you,” he repeated again and again until it became angry shouts, screams that he refused to hold in, even if he could have found an ounce of self-control. Yes, Chronos must have been sleeping on the job, indeed. If only he had lost his self control ten days before.
October 3rd 2010 7:50 PM