This is written in Trevor’s words, my character from Leaves of the Fall. I found it while searching through my creative writing class folder from college. I hope you enjoy. 🙂
With a river of tears streaming down her face, she turned to me and said, “Forgive me… without him I am empty … I’m sorry!” Stooping, she gathered her suitcase and purse, gave me another regret-filled look, and left; walked right out my door.
It all begun earlier in the day … well, actually, it had begun many years ago, I think, but for the sake of time, and in order to alleviate the risk of confusion, let us just leave it at that.
We had been driving along, going for a Sunday drive, simply minding our own business, when suddenly, quite out of the blue, I saw someone whom I had thought dead not much more than a month before. It was as if a ghost entered the car. I uttered his name. Rose bolted straight up in her seat, as if she had been struck by lightning.
“In the back of that car. It’s him; I know it.”
She studied the maroon car for several minutes as we drove in silence, chewing on her pinkie. The maroon car’s turn signal lit up, informing me they intended to make a left turn. I slowed our car down to a steady crawl, then a near complete stop, waiting with impatience for it to be over with. Anger filled me at the thought that this would delay our drive, that the day would somehow be delayed due to this one person, holding us up. I began to tap my fingers on the steering wheel, and bade my time.
All the while, as I pretended to focus on the traffic around us, and waited for the car to turn off, I observed Rose, watching her facial expressions. She followed the maroon car with her eyes, until her line of vision ran parallel to our car. Beneath her veiled lashes, I glimpsed an emotion I had seen before, and it puzzled me. It also frightened me. So I glared at her. But I am not so sure she saw, and if she did, I am not quite certain she cared. It had not always been that way.
As I brought the car to a complete stop, I peered out of the corner of my eye at the maroon car, and at the eyes just above the back seat. He was staring in my general direction, but for the life of me, I didn’t feel he recognized me, not at all. I felt a mixture of remorse and irrational hatred. He didn’t even acknowledge me. But he was staring, and his eyes held such sadness, and a certain curiosity. This made me think, and wonder…
But I closed off all thoughts to that arena. It does one no good to ponder what is not a certainty, and it would serve my existence no purpose to make a stab at analyzing the way of things.
A few moments later, and we were again on our way. The sun was still shining, the birds were still floating beneath the clouds, and clock continued to move forward. But, I perceived a marked difference in the weight of things. She was quiet, true, but that was not a change. We have had many drives just like that one, and her silence had never perturbed me before. Perhaps the change was in her body language, her rhythm. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. I just knew that from that moment on, I could not recapture the emotions we had shared, even just prior to the encounter.
An hour later, we returned home, and I don’t recall exactly what I did next. I may have gone into the garage to tinker with my latest project, or possibly to take a shower. Does it really make a difference now what I did?
She disappeared for a time. I do recollect an irrational fear that had overwhelmed me shortly after our return. It was this feeling that began at the heart of my chest, and traveled down until it settled like a chunk of lead deep within my stomach. It was then, before I even saw her, that I knew.
And because I knew, there weren’t any words to be said. What could I have said that would have made any difference at that point? Words, although often helpful in some instances, would not have changed the outcome of that day. Her mind had been made up.
I do admit, however, to feeling unjust shock at actually experiencing the preconceived moment. My jaw dropped as I drank in the setting: her, with her suitcase, neatly packed, and with her face set in an expression of determination. It made me wonder, just for a moment, if she had planned the whole thing in advance.
But no, that would have been impossible. I see that now, just as I saw it right when it happened. There is no way she could have set that plan in motion.
Fate, however difficult it is for me to accept, must have intervened in order to cause the events of that day to come into being.
So now as I lie in my empty room, with only a cigarette to keep myself company, I must digress. I brought this episode on my own conscience. I did this. In retrospect, I now realize it was my fault that the moment came into being. For if it weren’t for my own weaknesses and imperfections, those events would have never been set into motion. Rather, if I had been who I was supposed to be, then in all likelihood, she wouldn’t have gone.
Now, being forced to shed light on a waning day, I see. But does it really matter at this point? She is gone.
Words fail me. I have never been one to waste time on needless words. I extinguish my cigarette, close the book, and turn off my bedside lamp. It is done. I wish to sleep.
To read Leaves of the Fall, click here.