Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Magical: Part 1

 His eyes shot open. The alarm clock was screaming in his face. Groggily he swings his hand out and slams it down on the SNOOZE button. He rolls over onto his back and stares at the ceiling.

Day 370…he thinks to himself. I love you, Samantha.

He gets out of bed, takes a shower, starts the coffee pot, gets dressed, does his hair, pours a cup of coffee and fills up his thermos, brushes his teeth and he’s out the door. Same routine every day for the past 370 days.

Goes to work, another grueling 13 hour day. He originally got the job because of how much money he made doing it, now he could care less. His bank accounts just kept accumulating money. He didn’t spend money on anything other than bills and necessities. Money just no longer interested him like it once had. In fact, none of his old interests seemed that important anymore. He only stayed at the job now for the sake of routine. It kept him going, his routines.

After work, he pulled up to his apartment and parked. He got out, locked the car doors, and pulling on his jacket he headed for the park. It was late, and he’d heard on the news of the recent crimes being committed at the park. Probably just a bunch of punk kids, but they still warned people to stay out of the park after dark just in case. He didn’t care. For 370 day’s this is what he did at the end of every day.

He kept on the path for some ways, counting the cracks in the side walk as he stepped over them. He didn’t see or hear anyone in the park. He never really did though. The late night runner, sometimes a kid walking listening to music, but the worst is when he’d pass the couples. They always seemed so happy, holding hands, bodies close, smiling and laughing. He always just kept his eyes to the ground and hurried past them. It was like a knife in the gut for him. 

He let himself drift into a memory of her for a moment. They were walking on this same path, it was Fall. It was a late after noon, the leaves were just changing colors. He remembers it being really beautiful. It was their day off together, and normally he would spend most of the day glued to the television, but she had nagged him to go for a walk with her that day. He grumpily agreed, but secretly he’d really enjoyed being outside with her. He remembers she had thrown on a pair of jeans and boots, and her winter coat was buttoned all the way up. Her hair naturally fell in curls down her back, and her white scarf contrasted beautifully against her dark hair. She forced her arm around him back, making him put his up and over her shoulders. She giggled. God, he can still hear that giggle. She looked up at him and smiled. Her eyes dancing in the sun. He looked down at her and smiled back, laughing.  No matter how hard he tried, he could never really be mad her. They walked all day. Sometimes not talking, other times they stopped and sat at a bench having serious talks, and then the rest of the time they just playfully picked on each other. Giggling and bickering. It was one of his favorite memories with her.

Stop, he said to himself. He had to keep his mind in check. It so easily betrayed him when it came to her. For the first 124 days all he could do was think about her. He didn’t function. He barely wanted to live. She was his obsession. His family worried about him, friend’s checked on him, work gave him time to get back on his feet. But nothing mattered. Just her.

He cut off the sidewalk and stepped onto the grass. The wind was against him, and bit at his face. He pulled his coat around him a little tighter.  He was heading to their spot. He’d never found somebody else here, he wasn’t even sure anyone else knew about it. Which suited him just fine. It was theirs.

You had to pass some bushes, and once you stepped into the tree line, no one could even see you. It was still farther in, and he had to watch his footing. There weren’t any street lights here.

Finally he reached their spot. It wasn’t anything special. When the tree’s started thinning out, the ground sloped up into this hill. There was a steep drop on the other side, but if you lay on the hill on a clear night, you would never be able to tell you were in a city. They had found it by accident one night, and had only ever been here a few times since. But they called it their spot. And it’s where they went to be completely alone with each other.

This was the last place he’d seen her…

He stepped onto the hill and walked to the top. He sat down and pulled his knee’s closer to his chest. He lay his arms out over top his knees and just sat there. Every night he did this. For 370 days, he came here waiting. For what, he wasn’t sure. But there had to be a clue. A sign. Where had she gone?

He looked up at the sky. Over cast. The only thing he could see was the faded light of the moon hiding behind a cloud. The pieces of sky he could see were deep purple. If she were here she would say it felt mysterious and magical tonight. He smirked, she always said the most ridiculous things. She was the perfect combination of a woman and a child. He’d never noticed that until after.

In fact, there were a lot of things he never noticed. He never noticed that she tucked and hid little notes all over the apartment for him to find. He never noticed that she always cleaned up after him. He never realized how she was the one that kept him alive. Every little thing she did had been a reason for him to breathe. And he didn’t know it until she were gone. Now he kept breathing in hopes she would come back.

There was a part of him that thought ….. no. He wouldn’t even think it. She was alive still. She had to be. She had to be.

She had been so sad, and no one really knew why. She’d tried talking about to him, and he pretended to understand. Say all the right things. Be supportive. But in reality he had no idea. He didn’t get what she was talking about. He always just thought she was so complicated, and emotional. She would get over it. She always got over it. She was constantly changing. Which annoyed him beyond belief. Now he looked back and was in awe of her. She was so magical. He’d put a lot of thought into that word. Magical. He tried to best describe her, and he couldn’t think of a better word.  One minute she was this sophisticated, sarcastic person. Laughing and arguing, or talking about something going on in the world. Oh the conversations we had. He laughed out loud just thinking of some of the debates. Then the next minute, she was wearing sweats and one of his T-shirts, playing video games or watching Animal House with him. Laughing and joking and eating junk food. There were day’s when she would stand in front of the window, staring into space. She looked so sad. He would always try and come up behind her and kiss her and wrap his arms around her. But that seemed to just irritate her, and she’d shut herself in the room. Then the next day she would be giggling and playing on the floor with the dog, like nothing had even happened. She was the most diverse human he’d ever known. He’d considered Bi-polar. But probably not. There always seemed to be a reason for her moods. And when she got in the right mood, she would lock eyes with him from across the room. And he could swear he could feel her hot breath against his lips. She would walk to him, never breaking their gaze, and just stand there and look into both of his eyes. He felt so weightless when she looked at him like that. Then she would lean in and slowly close her eyes and kiss him. And it was like dreaming. He would sometimes even get light headed from how stimulating it was for him when she did that. Of course, he never told her that. Though he wished he had now.

He never found out why she had been so sad all the time back then. He just started to ignore it when it didn’t go away. He just figured it would pass like it always did. But it didn’t. It went on for a few months. But he didn’t know how to help her, so he just kept the routine of their lives going. He thought it would help. For her to see life would keep going. She quit her job and stayed home. She lost weight. Stayed up all night. Slept all day. They started fighting a lot, but there never seemed to be an answer to their problems.

He just didn’t know what the problem was.

Why didn’t you ask her? He scolded himself. Why didn’t you get her help? Why didn’t you just pick her up and kiss her and tell her you love her? Why didn’t you do more….

These trips to their spot had turned into guilt trips. He beat himself up every night. The last day he seen her, she had written him a letter and stuck it in his brief case.

“I’m sorry. I love you. Meet me at Our spot tonight at 7”

It was the first time in months she had reached out to him at all. He remembered being so excited, then being angry. She knew he worked late that night. It was always about her, and her needs. What about him? He was doing the best he could, and she had to be difficult and make him go to the park at night just because she said so.

You were such an idiot! He thought. What was the big fucking deal? She needed you. You could’ve made it happen. Fuck everything else.

But that night work had told him he couldn’t leave early. So he didn’t. He tried calling but she never answered. When he got to the apartment that night, there were no lights on. He went and checked and she was not there. She wouldn’t still be at the park at this hour? He tried calling her a few more times, and after she didn’t answer again, he put his jacket on and headed for the park.

He remembered being so angry as he walked to their spot that night. He was ready to yell at her as soon as he saw her. She was foolish for still being here. So dramatic for not answering her phone. What was she thinking?

But as he walked into the clearing of their Spot, he forgot how angry he was. There she was standing at the top of the hill facing the edge. She was looking up at the moon. The sky was so clear and brilliant that night. The moon was full and seemed so close. It flooded their spot with light, and everything was so clear. Her skin glowed with the moon’s softness. Her hair flowing down her back and blowing in the breeze. She was wearing her purple dress that he loved. It fluttered softly around her ankles. He was speechless. His heart stopped. He had known right away that this was a moment he would never forget. She turned and looked at him. She didn’t seem surprised that he was standing there. She didn’t seem angry that he was so late. The only emotion she was showing was sadness. A sadness he had never known before. Tears rolled down her cheeks and fell of her chin. He was frozen, couldn’t move. But he would give anything to go back and run to her at that moment. Grab her and just hold her. Let her cry if she needed to, or say what she needed to say. Anything. Anything at all.

He hung his head and cried. Every night he cried. He cried hard. He sat on the hill, in their spot, and he looked at the sky and he cried. He wondered what the last thing she thought was? What had she thought of when she sat in their spot alone for so long before he showed up? Would it have played out differently had he shown up on time? If only he could’ve been in her mind.

That look in her eyes…. It haunted him. It was so deep, and desperate. When she turned and looked at him that night, it was a cry for help. He knew that now. He knew that then, too. But he didn’t do anything. He didn’t know how long she had looked at him, before she turned her body to face his direction. For a moment he remembered thinking she was going to start walking towards him. Until she lifted her arms out from her sides, straight out into the air. As if she were going to take off flying. She kept eye contact with him, and the tears kept rolling down her lovely face. Her mouth partially open, and he heard her whimper. As soon as he’d heard her make that noise, that awful noise, he snapped out of it. He ran to her. But it was too late. She let herself fall backwards. He remembered the way her dress wrapped around her body, and her hair around her face as her body started to fall down the edge. He swears she kept eye contact with him until she fell out of view. He ran to the edge as fast as he could, if he could just get there in time to grab her. His heart was pounding in his chest, he couldn’t feel anything. This couldn’t be happening….

He looked up at that moon, as the tears streamed down his face. He wished he could just see it, instead of the glow behind the clouds. It was just a reminder that it was there, just not in sight. He looked towards the edge of the hill. He had stared at so many times. For so many hours. He’d fallen asleep here countless times. And never any answers. He got up and walked towards the edge and looked down.  It was a steep drop. Rocks lay at the bottom, jagged and ugly. He always forced himself to look down. As if one day he’ll see her body.  As if one day, he’ll finally know what really happened that night…..

His heart pounded in his ears as he ran towards the edge, maybe she’ll be there just within reach. If he just hurried, ran faster…. But he came and he halted abruptly, sliding towards the edge. Stopping himself just in time, he looked down. Out of breath, heart still pounding he looked down. Eyes desperately scanning the rocks at the bottom, but nothing. No body. No beautiful dark hair, no purple dress…she was gone. He dropped to his knees, hands gripping the edge of the drop, he kept looking, and panting. She had to be there. He just watched her fall over the edge.

“SAMANTHA!” he screamed into the night.

The moon illuminated the valley below. Still no trace of her. He got up and whipped around, searching the clearing, the tree’s. Had she somehow managed to get back up. He ran around looking behind tree’s, grabbing bushes and clumsily parting them, searching every little space. She had to be here. Where was she? How?



He dropped to the ground and sobbed. What the fuck had just happened? Was he losing his mind?

No, he’d thought to himself, no. I am a logical man. I know what I just saw. But where was she now? Help. I need help.

He reached into his jacket and hastily pulled out his phone, he dialed 911.

After that it had been nothing but reports, and pats on the shoulder, flash lights and search parties. Blankets and coffee. Phone call’s from family and friends. Dealing with her family had been especially delightful. He had always wondered how a person like her had come from a family like that. They were self absorbed, manipulative, and childish. They constantly pulled and ripped at her. Tearing her down, building her up, playing on her sweet heart. He hated them. He never told her that, because no matter they did she always remained loyal and loving to them. They were just so utterly different, another piece of her that could never be explained.

Of course they blamed him for the whole thing. He even heard rumors that they were trying to say he killed her. He was so numb and empty at the time that he didn’t even care. Now as he stood at the edge and looked down into the valley that had swallowed her, he thought to himself…did he kill her?

He swallowed down a sob, but the tears kept coming. Time heals all, right? When would time heal this? Heal her? Find her? Find something? That’s what ate at him the most. Where had she gone? Where was her body? He couldn’t even really begin to focus on the thought of her being dead because there was no evidence that she was. Even when she was gone she baffled him. He laughed. He knew she would be pleased.

He turned around and looked around the clearing. A part of him always expected to see her peering from behind one of the trees, in that purple dress and her long hair falling over her shoulders, a big smile on her face. “I got you good!” she would say. And he would run to her and pick her up and wrap her in his arms and poke her sides and tickle her until her fits of laughter were too much and she crumpled to the ground. “Don’t you ever do that again you psycho,” he would tease as he kept tickling her.

You’re torturing yourself, he told himself. Stop it.

One final look over the edge, then he stuffed his hands in his pockets, gave out a long sigh and turned to take the lonely walk back home. He stepped off the hill and onto the dry grass. He reached the trees and a bitter, cold wind hit him in the face suddenly. He shuddered. Had it been windy this whole time? He had actually thought it kind of warm when he was on the hill. The wind picked up speed and he leaned forward against it. He was among the trees now, but they offered no shelter from the wind.


He stopped dead in his tracks. Was he imagining that? He waited. The wind was howling in his ears, and the cold was creeping into his bones, he desperately wanted to get out of this weather. But he waited. Because it almost sounded like someone said..


There it was again! He hadn’t imagined it. He looked around him, it was difficult to see through the tree’s, especially with this wind blowing into his face. His eyes were watering now, but he kept looking. He turned around and faced the clearing. Was there somebody in there? Surely, he would’ve noticed them before.

“Come back.”

It was a faint voice, or at least it sounded that way in combination with the wind. But there was something eerily familiar about it. Then it struck him. He knew that voice. He’d heard it a thousand times before. He’d heard that voice yell, and cry, and laugh, and sing. He knew that voice. It was her. She was there. His face fell. Damn this wind. It didn’t matter. He wasn’t cold at all anymore. He ran back to the clearing, the wind roaring at his back, pushing him there the whole way.

It’s her, it’s her, it’s her, my God it’s her…

His head was pounding, and his heart beat against his ribs. The branches of the trees whipped at his body and he stumbled on a rock but found his footing and kept on. He broke through into the clearing and stopped dead.

His eyes, was this real? She stood at the top of the hill, her dark hair even longer than he had last seen it, swaying gently in the wind. Her skin seemed to glow, her eyes bright and beautiful. She was wearing a soft green gown and it fell at her bare feet. The expression on her face wasn’t recognizable. Relief? Sadness? She looked the same, and yet so different. He couldn’t put his finger on it.

His leg’s gave out beneath him and he fell to his knee’s. His hand’s shaking.

“It’s you….”

“Yes it is,” her voice washed over him . He closed his eyes and breathed it in. Her scent surrounded him and embraced his body. Sweet and deep. She smelled so good. He opened his eyes, half expecting it to have been a delusion. But there she stood still. Statuesque and beautiful.

He hadn’t noticed that she wasn’t alone. There standing beside her was a child. A fistful of her skirt in one hand, the other hand in his little mouth. He couldn’t have been older than two. His dark hair shaggy and sweeping the tops of his eyes. Those eyes…. They were crystal blue. The boy was peering right into his soul it seemed.

She followed his gaze to the boy. The boy looked up at her and she smiled sweetly down to him, petting his hair. She bent down and kissed the boy’s cheek.

“Do you know who that is?” she asked pointing to the man kneeling on the grass.

The boy shook his head no. She smiled again. She leaned in and whispered something into the boy’s ear. His face didn’t change, giving no hints as to what was she told him.

He remained kneeling on the grass, but he had regained feeling in his body. His mind was still nowhere to be found, however. He was as confused as ever.

Where had she been? Was this real? Had he finally lost his mind? Who was the boy?

She stood back up and grabbed the boy’s hand. She began to walk towards him.

This is real, he thought. This is definitely real.

She stopped in front of him and kneeled down. They were face to face now. For the first time in 370 days he looked back into her beautiful face, and seen her looking into his. He could count the eyelashes framing those deep hazel eyes. He could reach out and touch her full beautiful lips. He could caress her soft hair, and wrap his arms around her body. He could feel her heat on him. Her scent was even stronger now. It smelled like…summer. Flowers, and rain, and lemonade and camp fires.

That didn’t make any sense, he laughed out loud. And she smiled back at him.

“What?” she asked him, her eyes searching his. She looked concerned, but the smile on her face was warm.

“I…I just can’t believe…It’s you…” he laughed again, and he couldn’t help but reach out and touch her hair and he let his hand linger on the side of her face. She closed her eyes and leaned into it.

“Yes, it is me,” she whispered.

“And me!” the little boy chimed in. Her eyes opened, as if she’d forgotten where she was for a moment. She turned to the boy and pulled him closer to her and looked up.

“This is Max.”

He looked from her hazel eyes, to the boy’s piercing blue eyes. Now that the boy was closer, he got a better look at him. The dark hair was wavy and thick, and made his eyes that much more shocking. His thick lashes framing his eyes. His skin the same beautiful color as hers. He was beautiful.

It hit him like a ton of bricks…..

“Max……” he repeated.

He remembered a time when they had thought she might be pregnant. They were so excited. After work they would come home and cuddle and talk about the plan’s they had for the baby.

“Well, if it’s a girl I want her name to be Celeste,” she said matter-of-factly, lying in his lap on the couch.

“No, I don’t like it,” he said, smirking.

“What? That’s a beautiful name!” she looked up at him giggling.

“Well, it doesn’t really matter. Because his name is going to be Max,” he looked down at her with a big sheepish grin.

“Oh, you’re so sure it’s a boy?”


They laughed and teased each other more that night. A few weeks later she had a miscarriage, and they never talked about it again. It was hard for both of them.

“Max..” he repeated

She looked at him, he knew she could see the pieces fitting together in his mind.

“He’s your son…”

…………………………………..TO BE CONTINUED

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