Sunday, March 7, 2010

The Locket

He twisted the thin, dainty silver chain of the locket in his fingertips. The locket itself swung like a pendulum beneath his hands, and far above the crashing sea. With his eyes narrowed, he scanned the gray horizon with the grayer ocean churning beneath it. He looked down. The cold water pummeled the rocks a couple hundred feet below the overlook on which he now stood. The locket was still swinging idly, unaware of the danger lurking below.

Why did she have to go?

He angrily mused. There was nothing he did or didn't do that caused her sudden departure, he was sure of it. But she was gone; she was free. And he was here and he was bitter.

Here I am, baby. All alone. Where the fuck are you?
Do you remember where we are?

This is where they came for their first date. They went to a lighthouse and stopped at this very overlook on the ride back. They could see a thunderstorm brewing far out over the sea, several miles away, purple lightning striking the surface of the sea. She had smiled up at him and told him how exciting it was to see the storm like that, and after a moment of getting lost in her young, perfect face, he kissed her.

Did you know I was going to propose to you here? This summer... Our anniversary.

He swung the locket upwards and into his open palm. With his thumbnail, he pried it open. "For my Beloved. Now and always." He read aloud. On the side opposite the inscription, was a very tiny black and white photograph of the two of them. It was just their faces, and it was taken at a friend's wedding. He remembered that day so clearly. He remembered delicately zipping her up in her little black dress and being ever so cautious not to catch her soft skin. She had laughed then, at how gentle he was being, and he felt embarrassed. But she told him, no, don't be embarrassed because it was sweet, then kissed him lightly on the lips. The mere thought of her touching him made him shudder.

I knew you like nobody ever could. Loved you like no other man.

They both knew it was true. He knew just where to touch her on her neck, exactly how to brush his lips across her throat. He had deft fingers and a firm grip. He remembered running his hands down her ribcage, down to the thickest part of her hips. Kissing her bellybutton. Making her gasp and moan and scream and whisper and curse and praise his name all in one glorious, sleepless night.

Who can say they've ever given you that, baby? Nobody. Now? Now though? After all that we went through... After all I gave you. Would've gave you. Wanted to give you...

She saw the good in him. She wasn't afraid of him. She never chastized him and she always knew how to cheer him up.

You always wanted to be the 'strong one', but you couldn't carry us both.

He bit his lower lip. He had held her hand that day she decided to go to the doctor. He even held her purse in the waiting room. When she came out, red puffy eyes and completely trashed make up, he didn't say anything. When he put his arm around her shoulders, and he felt her stiffen uncomfortably, he didnt say a word. Even that night, when he tried to kiss her good night and she rolled over to face the wall, curled up in the fetal position, grinding her teeth he didn't resent her. He waited patiently and was ready to help if she asked.

You never did, did you? You had to handle this all by yourself.
Now here I am, baby! Where the fuck are you? You're never coming back to me.

In one brief moment, he balled up the chain and locket in his fist and drew back as if he was going to hurl it over the edge and into the tumultuous sea below. But he caught himself. He opened his fist and stared down at the tangled necklace. Never, in his whole life, had he so strongly hated and loved an inanimate object. It reminded him of how much he loved her, and how much he hated that she was gone.

He sighed and dropped it into his jacket pocket, and stared back out at the gray, gray sky. It looked like a storm was brewing off in the distance. He winced but couldn't completely stop the tears from sliding down his face. Leaning forward, he gripped the rails of the overlook, stared downwards, and tried to regain composure.

You didn't have to go, Stacy. I would've taken care of you. Forever.
I... Love you.

"Hey, you alright, man?" His best friend said, emerging from the path, then walked to stand next to him.
"Yeah... Yeah." He said. They both knew he was lying.

"Well," his friend began, looking down at his watch. "We really do need to get going. You can't be late."
He sighed and put his hands in his pockets. Gave the scenery one more quick look over, as if he were trying to remember random details. He looked down at his watch, too.

"Yeah, we should get going. Her funeral's in half an hour."

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