It was a trail walked countless time before, the winding paths that led to the bay were nothing short of therapeutic.
Making her way back here was always a pilgrimage of sorts, especially when the gloom beckoned. As of late, the gloom was especially thick and persistent and try as she might, it only seemed to tighten its grip.
As of late, the breaths she took were short, but no one noticed and her family seemed to be oblivious to her plight, so she suffered in silence.
The gloom was especially insidious at night, but she had to contend with it alone. A couple nights prior, her husband told her not to interrupt his sleep with her childish need of being near him.
The night before, he lashed out in a dry rage that was becoming typical:
“That’s why no one wants to be bothered with you!”, he snapped abruptly.
The feeling that his words embodied was equal parts dissmissve and angry.
So again, she slept alone that night, in another room. Accompanied by the torrential storms of her tears, which soaked the pillow on both sides. She drowned every night, but like the Phoenix she rose from the ashes, only to go through the motions the following day.
The empowerment that was once garnered on this trail was now lost to her.
When she finally got her husband to accompany her on this trail for a walk to bring in the New Year, her excitement served to push away the omnipresent gloom that was the norm for her.
However, that excitement was short-lived as he kept his face glued to the phone through the entire ride to the forest. He explained that he had to counsel his friend through his latest setback. While he was always the counselor to his friends and family, he was oblivious to the crisis that the soul inches away from him was in the midst of.
Her spirit sank as she listened to the empathy and concern he exuded on the phone that she never seemed to be the recipient of – as she often received the mandate:
“Get over it”, which was typically followed by a long sigh of annoyance.
So, as they made their way through the winding trails of the forest with her descriptions of the historic footnotes of the area falling on deaf ears, he continued his conversation on the phone.
She found the gloom that was always absent in the refuge of the forest, slowly begin to envelope her. It gradually began to suffocate her, before slamming down with concussive force.
She tried to hold his hand, but he jerked his hand back, gruffly motioning that he was on the phone.
When they finally made their way to the overlook of the ocean. She stood on a sandbar to look out on the horizon and began to cry silently, the tears burned her face, as the wind cooled and gently wiped them away. She was able to keep her hands in her pockets, insulated from the elements.
She cried alone – because her husband was still on the phone, oblivious to the majesty around him.
It was then that she took a short breath, one that seemed to be especially sharp, as it was tinged with the emptiness and worthlessness that seemed to be her calling card.
Fittingly, it was her last.
She collapsed in a heap on the sandbar, as the waves caressed her face.
Her last fleeting thoughts were that she never wanted to harm herself, but this persistent loneliness made it hard for her – she wanted to die and this was euthanasia, and the Lord saw fit to take her out of her misery.
She laid there for about 5 minutes before her husband noticed her on the ground, as he had never gotten off the phone.
He rushed over to her side shaking her excitedly, his voice tinged with emotion, eyes overflowing with tears. A slight smile crept over her face as she finally received the touch she craved from him.
He fumbled for his phone to call 911, but the screen read…
And the phone powered off.
He sat on the shore cradling her body as he she crossed into the light.
Now, he was alone.
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