Short- The Death of My Love
We finally entered the beige walkway, surrounded by plants that looked like they originated in the Amazon Jungle. I felt… happy. I hadn’t felt so light since before they informed us of the Changing. My life had shifted under my feet, and I had barely any time to catch my breath. But he’d been here, this whole time. Emrys has been my constant, my rock. My love grew for him larger and larger each day, more than I could ever even fathom I could love anyone. It scared me sometimes, knowing I loved him so much. It scared me how much I could depend on him, how I leaned on him. I couldn’t imagine my life without him. Not now, not ever.
I glanced over at him and joined his hand with mine. His jawline pierced my vision, accentuated by the sun’s shadow. The pathway just kept going, and I wondered where he was leading me. What surprise? He’d been oddly suspicious today, and I genuinely couldn’t figure out why. It’s like he moved rigidly, with more anticipation in his eyes. My chest fluttered when his hazel eyes met mine, twinkling in the light. He did that familiar twitch with his lips, the slight squint of his eyes. I would never get tired of that.
“Will you tell me where we’re going now?” I prodded.
He tsked and raised his finger, “No, no, no, Tate. This is top-secret and confidential.”
I laughed, despite my frustration. He gazed upon me with awe when I laughed at him, and it made me start to believe he could love me as much as I loved him.
Forcing my gaze away from him in fear that I would fall on my face if I stared at his mesmerizing presence for too long, we continued in silence. We didn’t ever need to say anything to each other. We didn’t need to force small talk, we didn’t need to impress each other. We just were… comfortable existing. My stomach did a flip, knowing that this would be one of the happiest moments I’d have saved of us together. The colors surrounding us, our succinct walking, the way we just were… utterly complementary with each other. We cultivated peace together. We swam in oceans of it, no disturbance ever to be found.
We continued through the lush walkway, until I spotted an opening at the very end of my vision. As we got closer, I saw the walkway end. The beige walls turned into a wider circular shape, making a dollop of space. The opening above us remained, yet it was even more sunny there because it was a larger opening. I observed the sun rays as they hit the even more extravagant flowers and nature hitting the walls. It was… utterly gorgeous. Any anguish or anxiety from all that had happened completely vanished at the sight.
How had I never known of this place?
I looked over at Emrys to find he was already looking at me with keen anticipation. His eyes looked happy, and I wondered if mine did.
“Wow,” I told him, “this is amazing, Emrys.”
“I know,” he smiled that perfect smile of his, “I knew that you would love it.”
He took my hand lightly and pulled me into the area. The warm sun glistened on my face as I tipped my head back. A giggle escaped as he spun me, twirling in the center of the warm-reflecting tiles below our feet. The various flowers and greenery on the wall caught my detailed eye. There were reds, blues, pinks, yellows, lilacs… every color that could possibly exist radiated off of the walls.
Before I knew what I was doing, I pulled him close to my chest with a strong grip. I put my hand on the back of his neck, pulling him into my lips. Mine met his, and it truly felt like the first time we’d ever touched. Something about this day… something about being here with him now… it felt different. It felt blissful, like today our problems didn’t exist. Like they never could threaten our peace again. My love erupted for him even bigger than it ever had today, and I never even thought that was possible. He reminded me of an earth angel, sent here to complete my soul. He was me, as I was him.
His hand rested on my lower back, as he kissed me… softly and lovingly. He hadn’t kissed me like this for so long. Our love was bursting into sparks as he started to sway with me, lifting our other hands to a dancing position, elbows bent together. We were two slow dancers, dancing in the warmth of the fiery sun among the colorful wasteland of love.
He pulled back slowly, looking me in the eyes. My soul connected with his, and all the memories of us flashed back in waves. The first time our eyes met, unable to break the gaze. The adventures he took me on, the way he got me. I never could have fathomed that someone like this could ever exist. I swam in his eyes, in our connection.
He slowly started to back up from me, and I let him. I watched him take a step back with one foot… but the other didn’t follow. He just stood, awkwardly. Until he started lowering.
He started lowering on one knee.
His navy pants overlapping his knee connected with the tiles, his black shoe landing in front of it. A swirl of raspiness hit my throat and I launched my hands to my mouth, gasping. My heart and stomach dropped together in a sweet sensation of disbelief. He was on one knee. I felt tears burn my eyes, choking up my senses.
I watched as he pulled the black velvet out of his back pocket with his long hand, smiling. I caught that he had tears in his eyes. He was choking up more than me, trembling a bit. I couldn’t believe this. He was proposing to me. The love of my life wants me in his life forever. An eternity of peace flashed before me, knowing that we could continue our love story in infinite space and time.
He rested the box in his left hand, slowly opening the top of it with his right.
“Tate,” his voice shook, “I love-”
His voice stopped. His face stopped. I heard a burst from my right ear. His expression and position became frozen.
“Emrys?” I whispered.
Red stained his open mouth, the mouth about to say he loved…
I drew my chin back, sucking in a shallow breath. My eyebrows lowered.
I lowered my gaze. A circle of crimson rapidly spread across his gray tunic. I darted my eyes back at his. His hazel eyes stared at me.
I looked back and forth a thousand times. My heart… my heart. It began to falter. It felt like it was failing. I couldn’t move. Neither of us moved. A slice of panic and pain shocked lightspeed from my stomach, through my heart and up my throat. Vibrations of pure pain rattled at the back of my throat. No. No. No. No. No. No.
I collapsed on my knees, dropping my hands to my sides. I shuffled over to Emrys, gripping his shoulders. My awareness started to fill into the rest of my body. I looked around us, to see where that bang came from. Empty. I darted my eyes back to him, to find him twitching his eyes towards me. The hazel in his eyes brightened, as he tried to move his lips. I felt wetness pooling down my face, but I couldn’t hear anything around me because of the pumping of my blood.
I shook my head, taking my hand and putting it on his back. I lowered him onto the ground, as he stared up at me silently. I shot my hand to his wound, trying to stop the bleeding. He let out a groan.
I think I whispered the remnants of the word sorry. We tried to form more words, but the blood kept pooling in his mouth. Heaps of violent emotion ripped through me and I screamed. I screamed at the top of my lungs, a scream that could penetrate air how my pain penetrated my heart. My everything. Emrys. My love. My light. My rock. My love, my love, my love. My love was lying on beige tiles of the most beautiful place I’d ever seen. He still held onto the ring, laying on the floor. I pretended not to notice the pool of red from under him slowly reaching the ring.
His eyes faltered.
“No,” I begged, “Emyrs, don’t leave me. Please.”
They kept faltering.
“I love you. Yes. I will marry you,” he gave me a happy smile and tried his best to look at me. I picked up his head with my palm, “you can’t leave me before we even marry. We’re going to have the greatest children. One? Two? Three? Whatever you want. We can buy a place to live after the Changing and get away from all of this. We can run away like we’ve always dreamed. We can explore together. Please,” I choked on the tears falling from my face to his body.
His eyes drifted lower.
I cried. I howled. I clutched him. I rocked back and forth. I pressed harder on the wound. I screamed for my love. I tore myself in two for my love.
He wouldn’t open his eyes. His hazel eyes. Those eyes. I wanted to look into them again. I wanted to awe at his light brown, mesmerizing pool of tenderness. My angel wouldn’t open his eyes.
I took his body and with all of my might, I dragged him to my lap. That one curl settled upon his forehead like it always does. His face was relaxed. I rested my hand upon his cheek, skimming with my thumb as my tears pooled onto him. I wailed and wailed, screaming at what the hell god had done.
I grabbed the ring case from the pool of blood and finished opening it for him.
It was a diamond-banded ring, with small luminescent diamonds joining to create a hollow circle. The circle contained a purple, oval-shaped… amethyst.
My heart shattered. It shattered within me, all over me. Swirls of broken glass, pieces of my broken heart shifted through my blood, through my body.
I took the ring and slid it on my right ring finger, trembling through the agony.
“For you,” I smoothed my hand across his face, “thank you. Thank you, my love. I love you.”