A Sunday Story, of sadness and hope.
He pulls up a chair beside her. Then he pulls it closer. He reaches for her hand, but she doesn't want it. She turns.
Time goes by as they both sit looking into the crowd of family and friends who have already forgotten, who are acting like it is Christmas.
She wills him to leave, to let her sit there alone, but then he speaks.
"It won't always be this bad you know. It's really bad right now, but it won't always be this bad."
Anger rushes to her lips, makes them move without warning.
"That's fucking nice to know. Thanks."
She feels him stiffen and she is glad. She thinks that he will leave her there alone with despair and sickness, but instead he begins to speak again and she stops him.
"Will you just shut the fuck up? Will you?" she repeats as she rises from the chair and looks down on him.
"You're just nothing but a dumb prick who has no idea."
Others are looking at them now and it is getting quiet. She can't hear anything over the sound of blood pushing around the shattered pieces of her broken heart.
"Christy," she hears her sister say softly.
She whirls around to face her twin, the one who looks nothing like her anymore and whose insides are different too, still connected and working, not shutting down like Christy's, becoming less able to sustain her with each passing day.
"What?" she bellows. "You want to tell me it's going to get better too? Is that what you want to say?"
There are no sounds at all then. None. The laughter has stopped and the Christmas music and the children's feet and all of the breath. It has all stopped.
She continues though.
"You guys can stand around that fucking tree and drink your eggnog and eat your goddamn bread bowls because you can forget long enough for all of that. Well, I can't. I can't forget. That son of a bitch didn't just take someone from my life. He took my life. My entire fucking life!"
She heads for the door then and hot tears are streaming down her face and she doesn't reach for her jacket or her purse or anyone who loves her. She just reaches for the cold and when she gets to it she keeps walking. She walks down the snow covered driveway and into the street and onto the sidewalk and further and further and further until she doesn't know where she is or how long she's been gone or how to live in this world.
It gets darker. She can't see and she hopes that the ground will just end and she can fall off the edge and not have to take another breath without him, not wake up one more time in this emptiness.
But then there are lights.
Lights are behind her and they are soft and slow as they pull up beside her so that she stops walking and turns.
It is her parent's car and it is full of the people who love her most in the world and she cannot take another step. She cannot stand either.
She falls toward the ground beside the car, but she doesn't hit the pavement because arms are around her already and they are carrying her.
They are carrying her. All of them.
And she is wrapped in blankets and wrapped in love and suddenly she can feel again. For the first time in three months she can feel them. She can feel their sorrow and their warmth and she can feel that they are saying to please hang on because we know it hurts, but something is true.
It won't always be this bad.