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Death in Love


Whitney Hopewell

His hand fit against hers perfectly. Each finger extended to meet another and leaned against. His arms felt empty without her to fill the void between them. Her body had small and simple form compared to his tall, thin, lanky stature. He knew from her voice that one day, he would worship her like a goddess. Treat her as she deserved to be treated. So much this life tried to keep them apart but their resistance shown through. Though he could not touch her, he knew how she would feel, soft and sun-kissed. He worried who she would find comfort in if he was not there. Who would she wake up to every morning? Who would kiss her wrists and hipbones and run their hands through her hair? Who would dance their hands across the small of her back and send shivers up her spine? Who would lay necklaces of kisses along her collarbone and sink their teeth into the thin skin of her neck? Who would love her? He tried to stop his thought process on the subject and erase the questions and answers that came along with ever leaving her in any way.

It was a dark and dreary Monday morning and he was lying in bed, dreamy eyed. He watched raindrops running races down the windows and the pitter patter it made on the roof resembled little children running. This melancholy existence at the moment sustained him to his bed and he closed his eyes to hold back the tears of longing lovers that sat just underneath the skin, ready to spill over.

She appeared to him that morning, dressed in black and bare feet. Her lips looked fresh bitten. Bending down over him, she kissed his forehead, then grabbed his hand and pulled him with her out the door and into the somehow barren street. The sun seemed hazed over and all he heard was the sound of her laugh, soft and fine, as her lips curved into a smile. The rain felt light on their skin. She was thinking of how the words would spill from his mouth, catching and tripping on his tongue upon their exit. she pulled his mouth shut and placed one finger over his lips, dragging it down his chin, then along his jaw line, soon dancing at his neck, scratching softly the paths her own lips would take. She could see the tears that had lingered in his eyes were now washed clean, his cheeks no longer strewn with their existence.

His head was tilted down and he was standing in the center of the road with her. His eyes adjusted fast, catching focus on her feet. So small, smooth, and fragile like the rest of her. In that moment she seemed so pure and untouched, like the streaky clouds above. She was so wildly innocent. All he wanted to do was pull his arms so close around her that she would never have to hurt again. He wanted to protect her from the fall. The twinkle in her eye was quickly reflected by the strands of hair that by now were dripping wet. Her lips held the rain on them like her eyes held tears. She reached out her arms and received the rain upon her. She began to spin in circles, in the middle of the road, twirling around like a wheel, laughing and smiling. All he could do was lift his head and watch her dress whip around her legs.

Oh how he thought she seemed so naturally at one with the trees, the sun, the stars, the moon, the flowers and the sky, crying down on her now. He stood there, now wriggling his toes in the lush, green grass and was in complete awe of this beauty unfolding. She stopped spinning. Her wet hair had been slicked against her face and her dress now clung to her body like a child to its mother. She ran over to him, looking wild and untamed, fierce. She came crashing down on him like a falling star, knocking him to the ground. She smiled as rain dripped from her onto his cheek. She kissed it away then tilted his chin up, kissing him softly, lingering on his bottom lip as she pulled away. His hands found their familiar place at her hips and he pulled her closer. She shook her head as her hair began to falling down all around him, and he felt lost. His chest heaved deeply when her breath fell upon his neck.

Two hearts beating so close together that their rhythm synchronized. Soon, the facade peeled from her eyes and landed on the ground, limp like a beauty queen mask. She felt more natural to who she was when all that was left was her skin and bones, unmasked by cloth or promises. He wanted to tell her how beautiful she looked, like the phoenix reborn, but no words would come from his lips. His soul was caught in his throat, choking him up inside. How could the thought of someone make you feel so empty when their presence makes you whole? He wondered. The missing pieces of the puzzle were being replaced, slowly residing in his heart. He wondered how she felt in that moment. He wondered if she knew she was making him complete again.

Their lips met with dazzling intensity. Truth and passion were surging through their veins, being exhaled in every breath they took in of each other. He wanted her to be his drug again, sedated by the love he could not sustain. She kissed along his neck and in each touch; he grew a bit colder somehow. His hands flew through her hair blindingly, tugging at tufts of hair, exuding this new notion of feeling. He just didn't want to have to think of ever living again without this. How could he go on without her when so much of her was him? She pushed against the grain of misfortune and came out clean. Her skin felt raw with love. He kissed each scar along her arms, legs, neck. She wondered if he could see her weaknesses that were now laying out on the table in plain view. He did not speak but did not need to.

His eyes were echoing back all the perfection of words that graced his silence with naive intentions. He held her so close to him, her chest pressed tightly against his, hearts throbbing and a loss of breath in their lungs. He knew this feeling would never leave but he could never have it back again. She kissed him deeply then pulled a knife from her garter, and handed it to him. His eyes turned to panic. His hand began to shake. "This is just how it has to be," she said, "we can never have forever back again. I'd rather die in love and live eternal after death than die in pain and regret the mistake I made in living." and with that, she curled his hand so it wrapped tightly around the handle, pulling his arm to her chest. He became lost in his composure as tears filled his eyes.

He tried to turn back when he could but her eyes held him so closely to hers. He was gone in that moment. He didn't see the signs of leaving so soon coming on like a stampede of flashing lights. He could not make out her features through the tears now. They flowed down his cheek in a steady stream. He knew he had to bring her peace within herself. She looked at him with such longing in her eyes and it made him want to crumble inside. And with that flashing motion, he took the knife to her chest and pressed it deeply within the flesh. She gasped deeply as a single tear of black fell from her eye.

She opened her mouth and spoke her last dying words onto him, saying, "When your time has come, you will know and I will welcome you into my arms with open charm and mixed affection; for death can only bring more self-creation from its end. And with this, live for me until we meet again. Do not fear, you'll be coming home soon. Love is murderous, but death in passion can last forever." he pulled her into his arms and rocked her into a deathbed lullaby as he felt the life drain out of her. Nothing left on her face but a smirk of satisfaction and a deep stare emanating from her eyes that burned coldly into his soul. And though his body became so empty in that moment, he felt his own self-prophecy had been fulfilled. She had died when her life had been lived to its fullest and soon, when his had also been completed; he would meet her in death.

And when he opened his eyes that Monday morning, not but an hour after the rain had so humbly pulled him into his deep sleep, he moved to the faucet to wash her blood from his hands.

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