By James

I stand on my balcony at night, the cool wind blowing my hair out of place and rustling the leaves of the trees across the street. Out there is an entire universe. Billions of stars in each of billions of galaxies. The vastness of the universe seems so empty, yet not as empty as my life.

I turn back to our tiny apartment. My apartment, I suppose. He's been gone for a week now, but the void remains, and seems to be growing every day. It isn't a void in my life or even my heart. It is a void in my very soul. Why had they taken him from me? Why couldn't they take me too? I'd rather be dead than face life without him. Oh, God! Let me die that I might see him again!

I cry myself to sleep at night, only to cry myself awake in the morning. The pain is so great that crying seems to be nothing more than a futile attempt to express my sadness.

I lay down on the bed and I feel so alone. For seven years he slept there, next to me, the heat of his body was my security from a cold and unforgiving world. Seven years. Now sleep seems to leech more energy than does the day. I am terrified of sleep. The memory of that horrible night floods my mind, and I am powerless to stop it.

I look over at his night stand, the alarm clock glowing red, the picture of us at the Grand Canyon. I turn out the light and take myself back...

"I love you." he said, as we watched the sunset over Nature's masterpiece. "I love you more than you could ever know." That night he proposed. We would spend the rest of our lives together, for better or worse, until death do us part.


"Why?!" I scream into the dark, "Why didn't you kill me too?" I lay there silently, tears streaming down my face, as if God would finally answer.

No answer. Just the sound of the wind blowing against the building.

I begin to drift into sleep. Is it sleep, or just some state of limbo? That horrible night flashing before my eyes. I try to stop it, but I can't.

We were just walking down the street. He held my hand as only he could. Is that a crime?

I don't even know where they came from. They had knives, the blades shimmering in the street lights. He tried to protect me, but he couldn't. They just stabbed him and beat him, like he was an animal. No remorse. I tried to stop them, but they were too strong. I lost consciousness. Then they ran. I came around a few seconds later, my first thought was to find him.

He sat there for a minute, in shock, staring at the pool of his own blood that surrounded him. I tried to pick him up, but my arm was broken. I tried so hard. He laid down, and began to cry. All I wanted at that moment was to stop his pain. I cradled his head in my lap, my arm hanging limply at my side.

"I love you." he said.

"You just wait. Everything's going to be okay." I said.

I tried to scream for help, but I didn't know if any words were escaping my lips. I was crying. Why couldn't I stop crying? Why couldn't I scream? Couldn't anybody see or hear me? HELP!

"I love you" He said again. I looked down into his eyes. He looked into my eyes more intensely than he ever did before. I could see the pain he felt, his eyes pleading for me to stop it, but there was nothing I could do. I knew what was coming.

"I love you too." I said.

And then he was gone.

At that moment half of me vanished. My life, my existence, it all became meaningless as his last breath left his body.

I'm awake now, tears on my pillow. Someone is in the kitchen. My mother is supposed to come see me today. She is always there when I need her, always understanding.

I pull myself into a sitting position on the edge of the bed. That's as much as I can manage. She enters my room cautiously, as if not to wake me.


"Mama..." I begin to cry again.

"Oh, honey..."

She crossed the room and sits beside me, as she has for all my life. I just bury my head in her bosom and cry. I try to hold on to her for comfort, but I don't have the strength.

"I miss him so much, Mama. I miss him so much...."

"I know, honey. I know."



I really don't know what possessed me to write such a dreadful thing, but it just flowed out of my fingers while I should have been writing my geology term paper. If you liked it, if you hated it, whatever you thought, let me know at jsammons@wlu.edu.

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