I found you.
It was the middle of the night, early October. The 12th, 6 years ago, almost to the day. I was afraid. For no reason other than nerves because I hadn't heard from you.
The kitchen lights were off. I walked in the side door; calling your name. Your truck was in the drive so I knew you were home. I walked through the kitchen to the dining room, quickly, my anxiety peaking. I stopped at the entrance to the hallway...
You were there, but you were gone. Hanging from a rope in the attic staircase.
Even now, when I'm calm and I conjure the image in my mind I cannot seem to remember the details. Not your clothes, not the rope... if there was one. It could have been anything. I don't remember if the dishes were done or if the laundry was still on the floor. I only see your face. It was pale and your jaw was slack. Your eyes were closed. I remember that much.
My heart stopped at that moment. Maybe I died at that moment. Panic set in. What I did next surprised even me.
I ran out of our house and got in my car. I backed out of the driveway screaming. I parked on the road and called for help. That's all I remeber. After that moment it's all black.
I don't remember the 911 call. I don't remember the police or the coroner or your body in a black bag on a stretcher. I know they took you because the detective took me inside to get some of my things and you were gone. I don't remember how I drove home. I remember the song that was on the radio because to this day every time I hear it my heart breaks into a million pieces all over again.
The days after are still a blur. There was no funeral. You were cremated. Your family wouldn't allow me to see you at the morgue because they blame your death on me. They said they didn't want me to see you like that, but that never made sense given that I found you.
I'm not angry. They were hurt. Blame needed to be placed somewhere in their minds. I just wanted to be sure you were gone. Feel that your skin was cold...know this wasn't a dream.
The last time I saw you, I ran. I'm ashamed of that now. I should have checked to see if you were breathing. I should have gotten you down. I wish I had kissed your cheeks, touched your hand, let my tears fall on your chest. I wish I hadn't been afraid. But I was.
I have taught myself over the years not to question your decision. I have reminded myself of the demons you fought every day. I remind myself that I loved you fiercely and that kind of love must be enough to save a soul. Maybe not your life, but I have to believe it was enough to save your soul.
I go to sleep every night and I'm one day closer to seeing you again. I dream each night of my head on your chest. I walk down the soap aisle and I always stop to smell the Irish Spring. I close my eyes and I can still feel my lips against my favorite spot on your cheeks to kiss. Sometimes when I wake in the middle of the night, your name is a ghost on my lips. I miss you more than you could ever know. On bad days I hope you aren't near when I cry.
The hurt never goes away and the story never gets easier to tell. It is a piece of my life I have learned to live with and bottle away. I don't know if I ever want to love someone that much again because the pain of losing you has been so intense. I made it out the other side, I survived. How much of me, I can't say. It changed me on a deep level. So much so that I don't remember who that girl was anymore. I think she died with you that night.
Happy trails to you.
Until we meet again.
This is our new Wicked Short Stories page with submissions from various Authors. Please look for bio-snippets about the Author at the bottom of the various pieces. Enjoy!