Can you keep a secret?
1903 May 26th
Today was the first day I met him. He seemed nice. There was always a sense of mystery about him. As if he was keeping a secret. Something that kept me from fully understanding him. But I’ll get there. My favourite thing about him was that he appeared dangerous. Not the threatening dangerous but the adventurous dangerous.
1913 March 6th (Present Day)
I wrap my fingers tightly around the plastic of the trash bag pulling it open as wide as it'll go dumping all of the unnecessary plastic plates and glasses. The faint gleam of the stars illuminating our dining room, specifically the three large arched windows lined up perfectly along the top of the room. The windows are open to the still air, blending the scents of dew and grass. On the counter, near-empty glasses of translucent ruby liquid are scattered on the kitchen counter. Examining the glasses I notice the smudges of sweaty fingers, still eager to get more. I start clearing the tables and he rinsed the plates. Outside I can hear the wistful staccato of an owl, forcing me to cover my delicate ears. He leans over the other side of the counter to collect the amber-coloured whiskey glasses. As I continue tidying up the room, I can feel his eyes following me around the room.
"Some party," he says
"Mhm," I barely let out scared to meet his sharp dark eyes.
"I'm glad the Smiths came over I've been wanting to talk to Caroline for a while now."
I turn to glance at the expressions on his face avoiding his eyes. Neutral. I can't believe he could say something like that with close to zero emotions on his face. He steps closer to me wrapping his arms tightly around my waist.
"Happy anniversary" he whispers in my ear.
I repeat what he says, less joyfully than him. This anniversary, this party, it all reminds me of that one day. Exactly last year. Exactly in this location.
1904 March 6th
It was our 10th anniversary back then. We were happy. The Smiths were my close relatives so I told him to talk to them politely. Just then, a mischievous grin appeared on his face. I didn't think much of it, as his mother had told me he had extreme levels of obsessive-compulsive disorder. I hadn't seen the reality of it.
Later that day I realised he had disappeared. maybe it was some surprise? Maybe he had just gone to the bathroom to freshen up. Just as I thought he was about to come, the lights started flickering and turned off. Everyone screamed. It was unexpected but then it quietened down as the lights came back on. But then Caroline screamed. something was off so I went closer. She sat there in tears. Her baby was gone.
I looked around everywhere. For some reason, my husband was missing too. I went upstairs to see if I'd find either of them. Then I heard something. It was a lullaby. I peeked through the balcony and saw him holding the baby off the edge, singing a lullaby.
"goodbye" he whispered in the baby's mouth and dropped him. I screamed running up to save the baby but when I looked down, there was nothing. Nobody, no baby. It was like it vanished into thin air halfway through the fall. I was shaken. I questioned everything about the world. Who was my husband? I slowly made myself down and as all those pleading eyes looked at me, I couldn't reinstate the fact that I was crazy by telling the truth. So I lied.
"I couldn't find him."
Caroline burst into tears, and I did too. Ever since I've questioned everything about my husband. But I've made one mistake, to never ask him about that night.
1913 March 6th (Present Day)
"Um, what happened that night at the party?"
I grinned his face reflecting different emotion: surprised, confused and happy. I repeated my question. He took a deep breath. As if he was about to say something that would change my world.
"I think it's finally time," he mumbled under his breath. I leaned closer to hear properly.
"Some things in our world can't be explained." He said smiling.
There was something about this smile. It seemed genuine. I could see real love in his eyes. But I couldn't put the pieces together. Did he really love me?
He leaned in the hugged me tightly. I hugged him back. I wanted to.
"Close your eyes" He demanded.
I did as told. After about 30 seconds of silence, I opened them. He wasn't there. I went outside to see if he was there. Then I looked up, he was on the balcony. He smiled at me one last time and fell to his doom. But halfway in between, he vanished to thin air.
I remembered what he'd said before and seemed more content.
Some things in our world can't be explained.