The Day We Went Away is a stand-alone epilogue to my novel, "Symbiosis".
©2005 Andrew Thompson
I cradle his head in my arms. In my mind I see him smile up at me, and I think that it's really him. I hear someone crying - maybe it's me, I'll never know.
My mind seeks out the shelter of his love once more, and again I see him smile. I brush the hair from his blackened eyes, unaware of the blood caking between my fingers. He says my name and I tell him that I love him. He laughs lightly despite his broken jaw and battered face, and the sound lingers beautifully in my ears.
In my mind he sits up then kneels before me, the grass still on his knees where he'd been forced to beg for mercy, and with gentle caressing fingers still nimble - the hands of an artist - unable to sense the shattered bone through the soft brown skin, he slips the gold band onto my finger.
He makes me read the inscription aloud for all to hear. I do and we both blush, just as we did months before.
Muted crying reaches my ears again, and I pull him nearer. He nestles into my embrace and whispers that everything will be alright.
"We're immortal, remember?"
I touch my cheek to his. I stretch out beside him and cradle his still-warm body next to mine. The sirens outside begin to fade as if they aren't really there, and together we drift off to sleep.
Yet somehow through insanity's veil, I know there won't be a tomorrow. And in my slumber I hear my mind telling me, warning me, screaming at me to face the truth.
But I won't.
When I wake it will be soon enough to know that my one true love, my only reason for life, is dead. And the truth that will be sadder, is that I am still alive.
I try to follow him. The sacred poisons are purged from my stomach too soon, and alas I survive again. The onset of dementia comes swiftly, and the world is at peace once more.
And now two decades on, I remember. I should be thankful for such blissful insanity that cast his memory aside for the pause of eighteen years. Alas I have awoken and I miss that sweet denial now so much.
But not as much as I miss his touch. I have his love, his soul, his tears, but not his touch.
The loss of his touch is madness, the memory of his touch divine. How do I survive within this madness, for I cannot survive without it? The onset of new dementia comes swiftly, and I know that the world will never be at peace again.
And I wonder now, as I did back then, the day the whole world died, how those audacious stars can continue to burn without the dancing light in his eyes - how this presumptuous planet can dare turn without his breath to guide it - how this hateful heart can continue to beat within my lifeless corpse.
But in truth, I know the answer. I've always known.
For none of this is real.
I am real and he is real. Our love is real, forever is real, and nothing else matters.
Everything mortal died that day, two decades have passed as none.
Everything died the day he died, the day we went away.