Every mom wants the best for their child, and I’m no exception. I don’t know how many times I pictured your graduation; you, in a white dress, walking down the aisle; you having a child of your own. It’s something a mother almost expects. What they don’t expect is a gravestone.
May 23, 1990 – January 12, 2005
Gone to find her wings…
I wish you could tell me whether or not you like it. I tried to capture you, all of you; but how do you do that in such a small space. You were so large. You filled up every room and the light sort of fizzled the moment you stepped out of it. When you left this world, you took so much of me with you that there isn’t much left; not much reason for me to remain.
I can hear you now, telling me how cryptic I am; how I have so much to live for. I know you’d want me to move on. Perhaps you’d also understand that I just can’t.
I’m not so bold to think you’d thank me for it or that you’d do the same for me. I would honestly tell you not to. But would it matter? I don’t know.
For the last year, I’ve listened and I’ve watched. I’ve attended every court session, heard everything they said about you, about what he did. There were moments that I was sure I was being ripped apart.
I wish I could go back to that night and tell you not to go. I wish I could have yelled at myself to go with you. I would have saved you. Either that, or I would still be with you; the two of us, angels up in heaven. We’d take heaven by storm, just like we were so close to doing here.
The details of that night will forever be burned in my memory, as if I’d been there; as if I’d lived it with you. If only I could take the burden from you; the gruesome horror of it. Why couldn’t it have been me? Why did it have to be you?
I’ve watched those twelve people sitting in that box. I’ve watched their faces. At first, they were horrified. I watched as they sent murderous glares to the monster on the other side of the courtroom. If only glares could do what must be done.
It didn’t take long for those looks to change. Now, they are pensive; thoughtful. There were times, when he was on the stand, that everyone was laughing. How could anyone laugh? But I’ve noticed that he has ways with people, which is perhaps why he has been allowed to continue; why you ended up in his grasp.
When they filed out to deliberate, I already knew what was going to happen. I knew what their decision would be, so I found myself leaving the courtroom. I went fast because I didn’t think it would take them long. I drove all the way across town, breaking every speed limit along the way, grabbed the item I knew would set you free, and then I hurried back.
I was right. My phone rang while I was parking. Their deliberation was done.
My heart started beating in my chest like a trapped bird struggling for flight. As far as plans went, mine was flimsy, but I’d been thinking of this since the moment they pulled back the sheet and I saw your broken body lying on the cold hard slab. I didn’t cry then, but I was forever broken.
I settled in with the crowd making their way back into the courtroom. There were whispers, bursts of laughter, and I heard someone crying. Is that me?
I didn’t bother to sit. I stood in the corner at the back of the room. I wanted to be the first one out. It felt like I hadn’t taken a breath before those twelve people were filing back into their seats.
“Ladies and Gentleman of the Jury, have you reached a verdict?”
“We have, your honor.”
My ears started to ring and within seconds, it was a loud roar echoing throughout my head. When they finally said the words, they replaced the roar and continued echoing around my head.
And even though I was expecting it, I almost dropped to my knees in horror. How could they? Didn’t they see what he’d done to you?
I was the first one out the door. I thought I heard someone yelling my name, but I kept on moving. I ran to my car, grabbed what I needed, ran back to the courthouse steps and stood next to a pillar. Before I knew it, he was walking out the doors. Cameras were flashing and people were yelling questions, trying to get his attention.
“How does it feel to be a free man?”
“What are you going to do now?”
I watched as he smiled into all the cameras and started talking into the microphones.
I didn’t need his attention. I just needed him in hell where he belonged. Slowly, I pulled out the gun. Everything became silent except the buzzing that had started in my ears. Slowly, silently, I aimed for the center of his body and pulled the trigger. I pulled it again, and again, and again. I don’t know what happened first, the gun clicking empty or the mad rush of noise in my ears as I felt something hard enter my chest.
Amidst the cacophony of noise that I can’t make sense of, I find myself looking up at the cloudless blue sky, coughing up blood and struggling for breath. I manage to smile when I see white wings above me, beating in the glow of the sun.
Now you are free, my love, and I will be with you soon.
I haven’t participated in a Chuck Wendig challenge in way too long, but this week, it spoke to me. He asked us to write a story of revenge in about 1,000 words and this one came out pretty easily. It felt good to write something longer than 100 words. I guess I can still do it…