The Colors of Love & LonelinessbyYoSoyJu©
The room smelled of juniper and wildflowers. She always loved burning incense and it reminded him of her. Tristan was sitting on his bed thinking of her. He thought back to when they first met and how that train ride seemed like any other morning train ride until he saw her. He remembered how she lit up the subway car with her beauty. He remembered how when the train stopped, he had to chase her down, because he was too afraid to say anything before then.
He thought back to their first date. He longed to be there again. He longed for one last look at her face, so he could be lost in her eyes again. He needed to be there. He needed to be there when they shared an umbrella in the rain of New York City. He yearned to just stand in the pouring down rain as she ran ahead with the umbrella, laughing. Oh the laugh. He recalled the laugh that made angels sing. The laugh that could pierce through his heart and make him putty in her hands.
He took a deep breath. Beyond the juniper burning in the corner and beyond the flowers there was a faint odor. It continued to get stronger and stronger with each deep inhalation. He recognized her perfume, still radiating from the hamper. He remembered how she smelled and how her kiss tasted, a taste sweeter than any sugar that would whirl around on his tongue and stay for hours. But now that wasn't what he was tasting. Now all he could taste was the cold steel pressed against his tongue. The instant realization brought him out of his fantasy and back into reality: a reality without her.
Amy cooed as the warm water glided gently across her face. The water glistened all over her body like the sun hitting a reflecting pool. The sound of the door closing brought her out of her trance.
No answer. She looked behind her as a figure stepped into the shower with her. The familiar face of her husband was slowly brought into the light.
"You scared me," she said while she playfully slapped him on the chest. "You gotta quit doing that."
"Sorry. I can't help myself. You're just so beautiful. If I don't have you in sight, I'm scared I might lose you." He got closer and wrapped his arms around her stomach. "Besides, just because the two weeks are over, doesn't mean the honeymoon has to end."
"I've got to get to work."
"Call in sick," he answered.
"I can't. If I miss today after taking all that vacation time, I might not have a job tomorrow."
"Aw, alright. But you come straight home after work. No skipping through the woods. I don't want some big bad wolf gobbling up my baby."
She stepped out of the shower and dried off, leaving Tristan behind with scraps of warm water. Amy got dressed quickly and put on a touch of make-up. She walked out the door, locking it behind her.
The stick of juniper scent was still burning in the corner. Tristan wrapped his lips around the barrel and squinted. He squeezed the trigger slightly, but took it from his mouth before applying any more pressure. He couldn't believe his own cowardice. "You can never finish anything you start," he said to himself, or was it his father talking. One of them continued, "You little pansy. What are you, afraid? Afraid of what? That it might hurt? It won't hurt, unless you screw this up too. That's what you're going to do aren't you? You're going to screw this up and live. Now that's going to hurt. It's going to hurt like hell." Someone else spoke up, "Come on. You're not going to screw this up. Only an idiot could shoot himself in the head and screw it up. You aren't an idiot, are you? Of course you aren't. None of us are. We all care for you and want to see you do what is best, what is right. You can't live without her can you? Do you want to? Why should you? She was you. The better half of you. The only part of you that could make you happy all of the time. The only one to make you smile when everyone else wanted to spit in your face or worse. They were nothing. She was everything. She was your other half. Don't you ever want to be with her again? Don't you ever want to be whole again?" Tristan looked down at the gun lying amid his sheets. He picked it up in one hand and eased it back into its natural position, in his mouth.
Amy sat back frightened. People were already screaming behind her. The sun hit the polished bar being brought over her. The warmth on her face was met with a warmth on her shoulder. The security soon reached her whole body as Tristan's loving arm squeezed her tight.
"Get ready and hold on!" Tristan squealed with delight. Amy was not so sure about it, but she trusted her lover. The car went slowly, steadily up the hill. It seemed an eternity. When the vessel finally reached the zenith, Amy found herself feeling freer than she had ever before in her life. She felt alive and unbound, but at the same time she felt secure and grounded, a feeling which usually scared her. But this time was different. He was different. Tristan was different. Tristan was the catalyst of all her happiness. She had found the other half of her wholeness. The one who, added to herself, made one complete being. The symbiosis was apparent. She needed him.
The incense burned down to a nub as the last fresh gasp of juniper diffused into the room. Tristan took the gun out of his mouth and set it on the nightstand. He had listened to those voices before and they always got him in trouble. He lay back staring at the ceiling. He waited. He waited for her to run through the bedroom door, just as she had done so many times before. He wound his thumbs over each other; slowly at first, then the pace began to quicken. He twiddled his thumbs end over end again and again with an unknowable vigor. Thoughts began to run through his head.
Memories. Memories of everything. The first images were a little fuzzy. White. All was white. He looked around and saw his bother and sisters sliding down the hill in the back yard on a big red disc. He looked and saw his best friend Jimmy sledding down the hill in front of them.
"Jimmy! Look out!" he shouted in his head. He hadn't said it out loud. Jimmy slid just underneath the semi truck zooming down the highway. He wasn't as lucky when the red BMW came the other way.
Green. Green was everywhere. Specs of gray slowly came into focus. He saw his father's headstone. He saw his mother in tears. He was only eight, but he could not cry.
Black. A sea of black. A spectrum of colors methodically appeared. He was riding his blue ten-speed his mother had given him for his twelfth birthday. Snowball, the family shiatsu mutt, was following him yapping with delight.
He waved to his mother as she was getting into their new station wagon. He could still smell the fresh faux wood paneling on the sides. She waved back and shut the door. He saw the bright white lights and heard his canine friend yapping for the last time. His white fur turned red under the tire.
Tristan sat up and glared at the wall over his bed.
Amy stared into the darkness all around her. She hadn't an idea of what was around her. All was black.
"Can I look now?" she giggled.
"Not just yet, honey," Tristan responded. "But we're almost there." The bright red Saturn came to a stop and Tristan began talking to an older gentleman. Tristan muttered something like, "Nice vest," and the older gentleman just muttered to himself. "Just a few more seconds…and…there. Here we are." Amy opened her eyes and saw a huge building in front of her covered in lights.
"A concert? Bon Jovi? Oh honey, you remembered our first date," she said. "Thank you. This is the best anniversary present ever."
"But that's not all," Tristan explained. "The best I've saved for last." The couple slowly marched into the line to get in and found their seats. The arena smelled of marijuana already, and the band hadn't even started.
The pair danced and shouted as the first bands came on, flopped around for half an hour, and left. The entire crowd erupted as the main attraction took the stage. After the first few songs, Amy looked up at Tristan, lovingly. He was concentrating on the band, but glanced over and caught her eye. "I love you," she shouted over the guitar chords and drum thrashings.
"I love you, too," Tristan responded. "Happy anniversary." Amy began to stare deeply into Tristan's eyes, her pupils getting larger by the moment, her eyes bulging.
The guitar player struck the first note and everyone knew what he was playing. The mass began to dance and shake violently. No one noticed when Amy hit the floor. Tristan looked over to his wife to see if she was having a good time.
"Honey? Honey!" he shouted as he discovered her lying among the spilled beer and cigarette butts.
The juniper ash was piled in the corner. Tristan sat staring at the wall. He stared at a portrait above his bed. It was of a man in a robe with a bright circle of light above him. The man had blood all over his forehead.
"How dare you sit and mock me," Tristan screamed. The fury seemed to boil up from some hellish region within Tristan's fragile mind. "I believed in you. I cried for you. I prayed to you everyday of my life to send me someone. Anyone. You sent down an angel from above and gave her to me. I loved her. I cared for her. I longed for her; pined for her; ate, drank, slept, and breathed for her. I existed for her. She was my reason for being. And you fucking took her away. Stop staring at me! I hate you. You took away my reason for living. You took away everything. Stop staring at me. Fuck you! Fuck you! Fuck me."
Tristan grabbed the gun from the nightstand. He placed it against his temple. "This is what you want? Is this what you fucking want? Just go away and leave me alone." Tristan looked down and began to sob, the gun still pointed at his head. His grip slowly loosened as he blubbered. "Why?" he muttered, repeated between each breath. "Why did she have to go away?" The cries of pain and anger became increasingly malevolent as he screamed out. "Why?" he yelled as he fired round after round into his bedroom wall. The tears in his eyes fogged his vision as the portrait unscathed by the incident. "Why?" Tristan asked as he collapsed onto the floor. He curled up into a ball onto the hardwood tiling below his bed.
Amy was again in the dark. Strange noises filled her ears. They became louder and louder until she finally couldn't take anymore and screamed as loud as she could. No one could hear her. She was alone inside the vastness of her mind. The outside world began to come into audible focus. She heard the doctor say something about a blood clot in her brain. She heard Tristan sob, softly at first, but with more and more intensity. She could feel his hand on hers and his head on her stomach, but she was powerless to do anything to comfort him, to tell him that she'll be alright. She could hear the television going in the bed next to hers. It was a Robin Williams movie. He was her favorite actor.
Almost intuitively, Tristan began to notice the TV as well. "They're playing a Robin Williams movie on channel eight," he tried to say under the tears. "Let's watch it together." He turned his chair toward the screen as he flicked on her television. "I know Robin is your favorite actor. He's mine too. I used to love to watch DeNiro. Taxi Driver was my favorite movie of all time; that is, until I met you. You showed me things I never thought I'd ever see. Colors I never thought I could ever experience."
Colors. Amy now began seeing bright colors whirl by her as she flew through the emptiness. The hideous robotic noises began to slowly disappear. Tristan's voice seemed to fade into the background. Intense shades of green and blue flashed in front of her, only to be replaced by reds and purples. Thin streams of light, all the colors of the rainbow, twirled and danced to their own unique rhythm. The colored lights slowly waltzed into the moonlight until all was dark again.
The ash gently blew away as the wind came in through the bedroom wall. Tristan was still lying on the floor. His eyes were closed. The memories came flooding in. He opened his eyes. He shut his mind. He tried to dam up the pain.
His eyes focused upon the gun. The beautiful L-shaped figure, shining as the light poured in from the small holes in the wall. L. The letter that could save his sanity; and end his pain. The letter L, but with a circle in the corner. The circle: the catalyst to all of his sanity in the center of that circle.
He reached for his magic letter. The metal was cold against his skin. He must have passed out. He pulled himself back onto his bed. The gun was still in his hand, but no longer in his mind. He laid his head onto the pillow. His eyes immediately centered on her. She was beside him, on the nightstand. She had been there all along. He just kept watching her. Staring. Glaring. Thinking. Repressing. Living. Dying. He was with her, alone.