An Endless Time to Grieve

Submitted into Contest #138 in response to: Write about a character who doesn’t want to go to sleep.... view prompt


Sad Urban Fantasy Fiction

Closing the blinds would be easy. Even bought the blackout blinders for the room but they sit on the floor now. It all hit me like a wave, from the throw pillows I never liked, to the rug we picked out at the thrift show that clashes with deep indigo blue walls we painted together. It took us four times to get the shade right. The fan is still slowly turning and damn chain still clanks against the light-bulb cover. But it kept you cool at night, and you kept me warm. Now I feel nothing but the fact that you aren’t here.

The crack of dawn slipped through the window, and I immediately break into a sweat. My hoodie only becoming more drenched as the sunlight crept up, it danced on your crystal rose, the one I got you on Valentine’s Day. The dust didn’t stop it from shining as it sits on your side of the bed, waiting for you still, just like me. The sweat turned to steam, or what I thought was steam. I couldn’t feel anything but remember how warm the room was when left two nights ago. Seeing my breath and my hoodie could really only meant one thing. I ignored it, just so tired I went to my side of the bed, laying down in a heap of wet clothes that were only getting hotter. The sun would always rise off my back, and I thought it’d be romantic for you see me wrapped by the sun whenever you woke up.

“That’s so cheesy!” You giggled out the first time I told you, “What if I woke up on the other side huh? You’re Rom-Com, morning might be ruined.” I remember your teasing as if you’re right in front of me right now. That same annoyed smirk from that morning found itself on my face again. But now the sweat coats the sheets as the hoodie’s fabric can only hold back so much.

My vision clouds as the steam starts to fill the room, and sleep gently beacons me to unconsciousness with promise of seeing your face and touch again. But the slowly pain sets in, my back crackling lightly as I can only imagine that the hoodie is slowly giving way to the to the combined heat of my body and the sun. I can’t move. What if you come home? What if I just imagined the last few nights and you’re drooling smile will come right back as it always has? What if we didn’t go out that night, not found that strange club, and you ignored my drunken adventurous ideas?

“We have to get up early in the morning.” You protested when that stranger invited us to an afterparty.

“Lighten up babe. It’s just one more party. We’ll leave early, I promise.” Mouthing my old response, as I remember us venturing into the black lit and crowded club. The music thumping against our chest but the glares from the people pierced through enough to catch you attention. But I didn’t notice. I didn’t notice their licking lips, and I didn’t notice when they slipped you way from me.

“Let go of her!” The words strained out of my throat as I echo the words of when I found them biting through your throat in the bathroom. The tears are now evaporating as the image of your blood on that dirty tile floor replays through my mind. My screams muffled by the music as the bit me too. She was so strong. I felt so helpless. But you came alive again, shattering a beer bottle against her head, and you gave me time to run.

The tears now bubble up against my now erupting skin. The pain so great that sleep would just make it so much easier, so much calmer. I left you. Barely clasping my throat as I shoved my way out through the back of that hellscape. I spent the night wandering back home, learning that they were chasing me, that I couldn’t be in the sun, and I had a thirst that hurt and drained me. But I never drank, and I survived for you. I thought I was ready to come home, to make everything feel normal again. I’m just too tired now, I want to see you again, to let the sun take me.

Steam turns to smoke as I feel everything burning, my throat feels like dried sandpaper as I let out pain filled cries. I lost you. It’s all my fault and I want you back here with me. Everything is heavy as my back sets ablaze, the smoke alarm letting out its warning, but I still don’t want to get up. I can’t sleep either. You saved me and if I sleep here, then your sacrifice would’ve meant nothing. Tearing myself away from the bed, leaving scorched marks all along the sheets, but my eyes are looked on where you were. Where I loved you for so long.

Charging the bathroom, I tumble into the bathtub and opening the valves to flood the tub. I’ve never been happier that out bathrooms never had windows. The freezing waters easing the pain and fire, I don’t move at all, my body rehydrating and I’m allowed to finally just cry. My cries went on until the smoke detectors just stopped, laying in a small pool of my tears and ash-filled water. The dark cloud lingers through the bathroom, moving through it to try and find the mirror. Only to move the cloud and steam out of the way to reveal nothing to see, no reflection whatsoever. Never have I cared less to know what I looked like, if I look like them, or like myself, I don’t care. I will always look the way I looked when we were together, when you were taken away. I won’t rest until I find out who did all this to us, it may take me years to find them, But I have nothing but time. 

March 23, 2022 00:36

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