I remembered someone had once told me that death is lighter than a feather, and I will deny all knowledge of it.
At 3:45 in the morning, I awake from a dream. Suffering from sleeplessness, I see in the bathroom mirror, dark circles around my eyes brought on by the wrath of insomnia. The noise should have faded by now if only I could forget. I had stepped into a world where time stopped, and where joy ceased to exist. I quietly slip under the covers again and move closer to my husband, which is how I like to remind myself that I am not alone, the curve of his body molding comfortably with mine. “The same dream?” His voice is soft in the night. He takes my scarred hand in his and brings it to his face. A silence between us grows warmer with each moment soon turns to whispers. I drift back to sleep. Later that night, I am again in my dream and again awakened by the loud bang.
I look up dazed and see that one of the balconies that had been over the toy store is lying smashed in the street. Glass windows are gone and all that remain is the metal grill which once held it up. Surrounded by the wall of terror the explosion induced, I realize death had spared me for the moment.
As in a dream, I move closer to the voice. He is young, perhaps in his early twenties. I kneel next to him trying to shake off my need for tears. Beads of sweat form on his forehead and his eyes glaze over with pain. He weeps. My heart fills with sorrow. “What is your name?” “David.” I once read somewhere that our names contain our fates, and then wonder if David is a victim of his title. Blood trickled from his mouth, down to his throat and his legs are shredded above his knees. My heart begins to bulge, overfull with pity and sadness. He is shivering. I take his hand in mine and cover his body with mine. Our blood intermingles. It feels warm and sticky. My heart is beating frantically against his fading life and time ceases to exist until I feel a hand on my shoulder. “He is dead.”
I get up before dawn, sit in the living room with a blanket wrapped around myself, and feel emptiness, the kind that doesn’t stuff silence with words, the kind that looks at you straight in the face with a challenge. “Let’s go for a walk.” I hear my husband’s voice. Our moon shadows side by side on the road, my husband’s nearly twice as long as mine.