When I finished writing my first poem about her, I wrote my eighth. I didn't write the second, the third, the fourth, the fifth, or the sixth. I have postponed writing my seventh as the letters felt too sharp and kept cutting me constantly. I figured that it was the pen, paper, and letters sharpening my words so I wrote my eighth without any. When I finished writing it, I didn't take it to the judge and jury, I didn't want it to be measured by virtual thumbs. Instead of that, I took it to the graveyard where she was buried, to the one who smiled at my first poem.
I wanted to rehearse the poem for as long as I could so I decided to walk the four hours distance. Rehearsing, but mainly preparing excuses for having not visited ever since those black cars left the morgue. It was the first time that I see the outside world in years. Yet I saw it like an out of focus fancy photographic camera, I could clearly, in all the colors that ever existed, in all the definition that will ever be, nothing. Just defaced bodies that looked familiar.
Harmful secretions, a strange feeling, estrangement, divergence in the impulses of life. Failure, fear, inequality, a competition for the unknown. Silent strike, unconvincing interviews, waiting for nothing. A quick kiss, snow. Rain of despair, happiness, illusory. Desire for nothing, hopeless hope, stupid struggle. Dark thoughts, riches spent to buy illusions. Pollution in everything. Cries from afar. Sun, warmth, coolness, and training in deception. Texture, touch, embrace. Heartbeat fighting the death of its owner. Tears travel to love. Cloak to tenderness, prayers without conviction and soulless hymns. We were buried and our troubles increased, and the grave is better than the bed. Walking calculators. Muffled breath, feverish chest. An innocent laugh slowly dying inside a destructive desire. A human being who is not known, an unborn animal in a world that never existed.
Those were the bodies I recognized in a blurred out pixels world. The clouded sky started to pour rain, no dry spot in sight. People opened their umbrellas creating a colorful depressing sight from bird eye view. Snow then began to fall along with some sky pearls that are yet to become snow. Over to my right side, slightly ahead of me, a beautiful woman was walking. I hoped she'd turn around to my slightly, I hoped she'd just stop. I hoped she'd walk back home with me and we would forget about our destination. And then, an explosion.
The cloud and snow didn't stop the sun from beaming through her golden hair, complementing her yellow summer dress, the reflection of it in her green eyes sent the light back to where it came from as her body hit the floor. A golden bracelet, bloodied, flew from her hand. The umbrellas kept moving, they didn't seem to care.
In silence I walked toward, she looked like a happy future. Her eyes spoke tears upon a sick son, her strict mouth said rehearsed lines from a cheap book lines about raising a child. Her nose smelled the fresh air in a rare two weeks vacation I managed to take from my demanding job. All of those faded as her yellow bright dress turned black. The future has been indefinitely postponed. I picked up the bracelet, a memoir from a future that will never exist.
I have been walking for a while now, rehearsing my poem, contemplating a rhyme, pondering the point of my walk. The voice pollution of the city suddenly disappeared as the reflection of the green traffic lights turned the wet streets into a field of green, upon which I found that girl again. Laying on the grass, reading a single piece of paper.
"I absolutely love this" She said while looking at me "is this really your first poem?"
"Yes" I replied "I wrote it for you"
"Is that bracelet for me?" She asked while eyeing the golden bracelet I carry with me.
"Yes" I replied "but I won't give it to you unless you promise me something'
"Yeah?" She said with a smile "and what is that?"
"Promise me that we will get married" I said with a teary yet hopeful tone "Promise me that we will leave this country once we do. That you will always stay with me. That we will grow old together this time"
"You know I can't promise you any of that" She replied.
A moment of silence ensued before she said "Hey, you want to take a walk?". I nodded yes.
We walked for a long time.
"So tell me" She said eagerly "How will this go?"
"Well," I replied "on our first date, we will close out the bar where you usually go. You will send your friend with whom you agreed to call you after you give her the signal that the date is going bad"
"Yeah, Shay" She laughed "She's great in these situations. What else?"
"Then we will go on a second, a third, a fourth, and a fifth date" I answered "That's when I showed you my poem. Your joy with it almost inspired me to write a book of poems"
"Almost?" She wondered.
"You were gone before I wrote the second" I answered.
"What about our sixth date?" She said to break my silence.
"We went on a cruise." I replied "You had told me that you hate the way rings make your fingers feel. That is why I decided to propose to you with this bracelet"
"Then we will spend months preparing our wedding" I preceded "Dresses, food, location, band."
"And then what?" She asked.
"Two days before the wedding we would go watch a movie" I answered "You would wear your yellow dress and show off your bracelet"
I paused for a while before she asked "And then?"
"It doesn't matter" I answered "What matters is that you are here and you can take your bracelet back"
We stopped walking as I was reaching with my hand hoping she would take the bracelet, she didn't. Instead she gave me that look, like the one she gave that wounded little bird with a broken wing when she found it on the roof of the house. I remember her cancelling her plans to tend to that bird. She must have spent hours and days on the bird, so he would fly again.
"Do you want to continue walking?" I asked.
"No" She replied "we already arrived at your destination".
I looked behind to find a long line of names carved on stones. Entire lifetimes miserably summed up in dates. I kept staring at the entrance, behind me stood a house surrounded by darkness. A house where me and the girl would have gone old together sitting by the porch, the echoes of our laughter echoed through the darkness as it slowly consumed it.
"What now?" She asked.
"We keep walking" I answered.
"Go" She said with a strict yet compassionate tone.
"I don't want to go" I justified with a terrified face.
"Why not?" She asked tenderly.
"Because here it doesn't hurt" I replied "I don't want to feel hurt, I am tired of feeling hurt. I don't want to keep living in misery. I want us to grow old together, I want us to spend the night talking by the beach again awaiting sunrise"
"That was a beautiful time" She said "do you remember why we had to leave afterward?"
"Because the sun rose" I realized "and we had things to do"
"Now go" She ended.
I walked in slowly with memories beaming from the bracelet. I stood by her grave to find it empty. The words of my poem started streaming through my eyes, choked and out of order. After that I was kneeling on the floor trying to put them in order. I took my time doing it, letter by letter, word by word. Then I laid them in the empty grave and walked away.
On my out I rested the bracelet in the palm of my hand before a little bird came and took it before flying far into the unknown scary space, yet the bird seemed determined to explore it with a newly fixed wing.
I certify that my entry to the The Ink Well Writing Prize is my own original work and has been published exclusively to The Ink Well and my Hive profile. I understand that my entry may be excluded from the Writing Prize if I have not met the Rules of Entry and the Community Rules. The Ink Well and the Writing Prize is supported by the @ocd Communities Incubation Programme and the @curie curation initiative.