by Richard Ankers
Artist: KC – Khings Collage
And… I loved her despite the tales, those fabricated fantasies. There was never a why, not from me. I accepted her as she was, like the clouds accepted the rain, in misery made manifest and melancholy downpours. This was just the way it was.
Initially, I drove our relationship forward. If there was something to be done, I did it. If there was somewhere to see, I booked our seats. There wasn’t any forethought, it just seemed right. Do as much as I could as fast as I could and damn the doubters. Speaking of which…
My mother claimed it excessive. My father disowned me; he hated sentimentalist. As for my sister, she looked the other way. I cared not one jot, and that’s how it was for a time.
She found her voice after a few months. Her opinions then grew progressively stronger. Soon, she procrastinated at everything. She second-guessed my every word. Any resistance was a sham. I couldn’t make a sandwich without it being on the wrong bread. Next came the who, and the where, and the when. Lastly, she monopolized our finances. And still, I battled. And still, I fought.
When I rang my mother to explain the situation, Father sniffed from the background. That was that. No point contacting my parents, and all my friends had fled.
She wore at me in that intervening year, between our meeting and our parting. She crumbled my biscuit self into ever-smaller pieces until I was grit. An hourglass without a purpose, I measured only my own time.
We shared one Christmas, our last, and little else. By day, I took my place at her feet like a puppy. At night, I sat on the balcony watching her sleep, daring myself to jump. And coward that I was, I did.
She came to my funeral in a jet-black cape, a cowl drawn high and dark shades reflecting the gloom. It was raining.
Who was she, and what did she want? Did she rob me of my arrogance or drain me of my free will? The answer was both, though never on purpose, and never from hate. She was Death, Lady Doom, the big ‘C’, the one who whisks us away from daylight to darkness earlier than expected. I just took a little more taking than most. And that wasn’t such a bad thing, was it?
There are many ‘Ands’ near the end. And there’s never enough time to explain them.
Richard M. Ankers
Richard M. Ankers is the English author of The Eternals Series and Britannia Unleashed. Richard has featured in Expanded Field Journal, Love Letters To Poe, Spillwords, and feels privileged to have appeared in many more. Give him a view including mountains and a river, and he might never be seen again. Richard lives to write.