I leap from the burning building, chased by the fire as the air left my lungs and I began to fall to the cold hard concrete below. Some part of me thought I may welcome the warmth, I was going to hell anyway. I left my hands in the coin of my fall and life had pulled me into its arms once more as a bruise or sprain was not to stop my feet running.
I ran to her, the only one I knew whose gaze would await my steps, my knock upon her open door, already open.
She always left the light on.
That’s the difficulty in life though, you feel as though it has dealt you a decent hand, but someone is there to call your bluff or place before your eyes a devastating flush that fills you with a rage you suppress. When I saw her there mirrored in the surface beside which her pale form lay I felt as though the fire had finally left me behind. There are no words for the emptiness a shattered bulb can leave when at your own doing she was torn apart.
I was born unto darkness… I never knew a light until I saw the quirks in her step and the tears that only ever fell down her face when she could finally let go of the smile.
She broke my heart with each tear but I would have given up the sight of her smile, I would have given up her knowledge of my existence, I would have allowed each of those flames to ebb away at my flesh until my existence was no more the the embers we are made from. I would have given all of this to have kept her alive.
So here I stand, the bitter cold escaping my flesh and piercing my veins taking away the signs of life as I close my eyes but cannot sleep, cannot die and yet cannot lift my head to move my feet any further from her house.
As he ran she was awakened:
I was sat at home thinking about how we met that day, I knew he’d never be good for me. He kept too many secrets…he just had these beautiful eyes I couldn’t look away from and there was something about him that drew me in.
I was a librarian at the time, or that’s what I told him. It makes life a lot easier if you tell people you have a boring job, no questions, no need to tell stories and no interest whilst you purposely waffle on about what some kid asked you about a book; eyes glazed over.
We met in the middle of a storm, sat in a Dentists’ office a power cut causing alarm among the patients, the two of us sat quietly watching the weather eyes glancing up once in a while until finally we met each others as the back-up generator flickered the bulbs between us. It wasn’t a love story, no hopeless romance or instant sparks just a hello; that’s always where it starts though I guess. We waited out the storm words never stopping for more than breath as I was his of fresh air, boring normal life and his mysteries ever present. Then I went into the office and figured I’d never seen him again.
Oh gosh was I wrong when a few weeks later a motorcyclist nearly ran me over and beneath the the helmet were those eyes. The rest of the day was a blur but it ended up back at mine falling asleep watching TV on my sofa after walking around central park.
Then the day it all had to change arrived. 7am and a stranger knocked at my door, I knew from the rhythm, the harshness that it wasn’t him, but I always left the light on just in case so there was no hiding as I walked from the lounge cup of tea going cold next to the chair I had left. He was tall, his hair an off shade of brown and his fixed expression told me exactly where he was from. I’d met his type before, I knew his words before he spoke them.
My life as a librarian was over. I was being recalled.