Day 26 – The Whisper – Part 3

 

Final part.

 

Word count: 935

 

 

To have the spring never birth new life and for the oceans to never rise or fall with the moon; to live without the wild mountain air and to never feel freshly mown grass on the tips of your toes; to forever live without comforting quilt of nostalgia wrap itself around you on a cold winter’s morning… that was what Devin believed life to be like without Claire. Staring in shock at the reflection in the mirror, Devin felt the last bright spring and the final tide, the air sucked from his lungs and the taste of summer being stripped from him like shreds of his soul.

He still felt her familiar touch on his own skin; she still had her arms wrapped around his waist and her aura was still burning bright next to his. Devin could feel, it was there, but looking right into the mirror-glass he could see nothing but his own reflection.

Devin stammered out a few syllables, but he couldn’t find the words to express the complete realisation. It was as if he had been submerged under water and was drowning without realising it. Now he had been dragged to the surface and could breathe the cold, salty air and it choked him. Too long had he spent swimming in denial that he forgot he was not of that of submarine world.

“It’s all right,” Claire whispered, resting her head in Devin’s neck.

“Claire… Claire I don’t…. I don’t remember, I don’t want to…”

Claire withdrew her body a little from his and took his hand and led him out of the bathroom and laid him down on their bed. She encompassed him as he recoiled into a quiet sobbing. Devin’s mind was delving so deep to grasp the hope that he was struggling to maintain his grip on reality.

Claire shushed him, tenderly tending to his tears.

Flashes of memory were slowly returning to him. Whether or not they were returning by the sheer force of nature or maybe his defences were finally melting before the inevitable, he could not tell. All he knew was that he wanted just a little more time.

“I still love you,” she said, “I’ll always love you.”

Devin felt like he had been hurled over a cliff and was tumbling down to the sharp rocks below.

“I don’t remember, I don’t remember how it.. why… how could I forget?”

Claire stroked his hair and ran her fingers down his arms.

“It didn’t hurt. It was quite quick, really. You didn’t see it happen, it just did.”

“But you can’t be – you can’t be!”

Claire hugged him tighter, whispering in his ear, “I died six weeks ago in a car crash…”

Devin hit the rocks at the bottom and writhed and wriggled out of her loving grip. He couldn’t bare the false hope, the lasting touch.

“No! P-please! No!”

Claire herself was now in tears.

“I’m sorry, Devin. I’m sorry. I wasn’t looking. It was my fault. I didn’t check. Don’t blame anyone but me…”

“I couldn’t blame you… I couldn’t….”

“I wish I could stay…”

Devin threw himself around and locked her down on the bed with his arms, “Don’t leave, please don’t leave….not now…”

Claire’s eyes were streaming now, though her voice was more composed, “I have to…”

“But you were here all this time, why can’t you stay a little longer?”

“Because the dead can linger with the living….if the living know that they’re dead…”

Devin clutched and grappled at his wife, his love, “Don’t leave me, please… I could forget, I could forget again?”

“No you won’t,” she smiled. “Not this time.”

Claire circled his face with her finally polished fingernails, “Don’t forget me.”

At that point she slipped free from his grip and rose to stand like an angel against the moonlight falling through the window.

“Why did you tell me? Why did you have to…. I didn’t have to know!”

Devin was begging her, clasping both his hands and praying and pleading with her.

“Devin, it was just a matter of time…. I could only ever come at night….”

“But … but this was all… I thought you were leaving me?”

“I am, but not in the way you thought… look again, my Devin…”

Devin watched his wife as she shone serenely with his adoration.

“I love you.”

Claire smiled, “I have to go now…”

“Will I see you again?”

Fresh tears clogged her eyes and she stuttered on her own words, “No… only in here,” she reached over and touched his forehead and gently stroked his eyelids shut… “Always in here…”

Suddenly he felt her warm touch turn to Arctic emptiness. Devin opened his eyes wide and saw an empty room and vast lonely road of solitude before him.

He sat on the edge of his bed for a few moments, sobbing. And then his memory wound back to what she had said…. look again…. Devin dived into their bedside table and delved out the card and the phone. The card still read the same message, but flipping it over he now saw that it was from the flowers he’d lain on her coffin. A sharp shock throttled through his veins. He checked the phone, grief streaming through his body. Fingers shaking, he opened the text message and looked at the number and the time it was sent. Eleven forty-seven and fifty three seconds read “I’d tell you I love you, but it would never describe a tenth of what I feel for you x.” The last thing he ever said to her.

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~ by S.G. Mark on November 2, 2011.

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