Of Love and Death – Written By Stephen Fahey. Part 23

book 1

It was Monday, May thirteenth. It had only been two months since that night in Handel’s. Life was a poetry of joy by the second and with our unbound love rushing through every heartbeat neither of us saw it coming. I was cooking breakfast; bacon and French toast. She loved bacon sandwiches with extra salt and brie on the side. I can still taste it the air as I tell you now. She slept in and I had planned to work in the garden all day. Then I heard her cough. Then wheeze a barking sound. Then nothing. I didn’t think anything of it. I just finished making breakfast. But as I finished I felt a chill even though it was already a hot day.

I carried her breakfast upstairs and pushed the bedroom door open with my elbow and their she was. Her eyes were staring at the wall opposite the bed. Her hands were horribly contorted, some fingers were extended and some were curled and twisted like pale twigs reaching for something that wasn’t there. Her jaw gasped and her tongue lay just beyond her teeth, swollen but limp. One leg was strained out in a fixed line and the other, raised, splayed her, having kicked off the sheet, which exposed the naked lower half of her body. In those fixed eyes lay a sad fear that I still can’t shake. I just stood there in the doorway, the tray rattling in my hands. I didn’t want to touch her. I didn’t want to accept the obvious. She was so alive only minutes before when we had made love and laughed together like simple fools. It didn’t even make sense.

I don’t know how long I stood there. Eventually I did drop the tray and walk to her. I knelt. She didn’t blink. I whispered her name. She didn’t blink. I rocked the mattress next to her head. She still didn’t blink. I screamed her name as tears exploded from my eyes. And still she just lay there, dead. My M, Dead. My sweet, perfect M. Fucking dead. Again. I had lost her again. Winnie or M or whatever her names is now, that greatest being, the great love of both of my lives was dead.

There is nothing I know of that is as painful as losing someone twice. Two lifetimes I chased her for but those last two months of joy together have now become a suffocating bitterness. I was sheered from myself the day I was sheered again from her. There was no light anymore. No laughter. No love. Only agony eternal.

Neither of us had anyone in that life. Her parents were dead and I had only existed as a human for less than a year. Even the names we’d assumed weren’t ours. The only person I was aware of that knew her was Torgeir and he was four thousand miles away. I didn’t know him and to be honest I didn’t want to. He scared me. But he was the closest thing to family that M had had. He was the only one that I ever met that knew her surname. Worse still, I couldn’t give her a proper burial because she didn’t officially exist. She had all the paperwork and identification, but it wasn’t her. She was a Dean. For better or worse. She had changed though and by living free she had become more than her family had ever been. But she was dead and in myself I was dead too. All I had left was to wait for my body to die so I could join her again.

In the end I decided to notify the police and then go on the run. There was money but I left it. I tidied M up and made the call and walked out of our home with just the clothes on my back. I didn’t deserve anything more than that.

To be continued…

© Stephen Fahey

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