“I just keep losing. I mean, are some people just...supposed to lose? For balance in the universe? I mean, like are there some people on earth who...are just supposed to be here to make it easier for the winners?”
I squinted past the midday sun to the sky beyond, offering those words to anything up above that was listening. “I miss you…” I breathed, closing my eyes. We’d made a deal, but I hadn’t been able to follow through. Life without her was hard, harder than I could’ve imagined.
“Don’t forget, wherever you go, I’m always with you,” she whispered.
I turned my head. She was lying next to me, just a beautiful as the day I’d lost her.
I closed my eyes and breathed deeply. If she was here...all that was left was to wait for Dusk.
My mind wandered, traipsing through my life in reverse.
It placed me in the middle of Times Square, where the neon signs were all but diamonds captured in the falling raindrops, when her world began to intersect with mine. Flickers of them crossed my path, harsh, shimmering, like shrill canaries singing.
The pedestrians grew blurry as I moved forward.
The colors of New York began to swirl, a myriad of chaos collapsing in on itself.
I fell to my knees, staring up at the dark sky. I wished for sunlight, for times long past.
And so it was. I was lying on my back, in Central Park, a year ago, when it had been decided. The warmth of her fingers drifted across my palm as she traced shapes on my skin. The setting sun saturated her face with joy and release. “I guess this is goodbye,” I ventured. For a moment there was only silence. I knew what she wanted to do, but the reality of it hadn’t hit me yet.
“This isn’t goodbye at all. We’re going to be together when we finally disappear. We’re going to be together forever.” She leaned over and brushed her lips against my cheek.
“I’m sorry,” I leaned away. I couldn’t do it. I could feel her pull away, the warmth she had always given me vanishing.
I remembered the loneliness that would come after her death. “Don’t leave me!” I shouted, sitting up.
I stumbled, almost tumbling off the hood of the car. I straightened up and looked around. The setting sun was lower now, blazing pink, orange, and purple, its dying colors burned into the sand. I remembered sitting there, alone, for the first time in my life.
I studied my hands. Could I do it?
As the dimming colors of the sun faded, I begged for more time. All I needed was more time.
The timbre of the radio awakened me. That evening drive...I’d fallen asleep in the car. The desert was no longer of sand, but of white flowers, stretching for miles and miles. The lilac sky sat stationary overhead.
I sat up, stiff. The sun was gone; Dusk has descended. My time was up.
I slipped from the back seat and stepped into the field. I could sense them all around me, the eyes of the dead. They watched me with curious hesitance, unwilling to extend an amiable hand, for I was not among their ranks. Yet.
I saw her, a shimmering form of white, at the head of the field. She was utterly beautiful, amid the gasping breaths of the dying. She took my face, placing her soft hands on either of my cheeks. “If you want to stay here, you should learn how to let go,” her ethereal voice floated in and out of consciousness.
They eased as I made my decision. The dead backed away, leaving my mind quiet as the sounds from my life resounded past my ears. “Do you really want to end it all?”
“I’d be lost without you…” my voice quivered.
She smiled tenderly, and I could clearly see her face. She was still just as lovely as the day I lost her. “Please save me,” I whispered.
She smiled, allowing her warmth to fill me. Finally, I knew what I wanted. I closed my eyes. “Please save me.”
And she did.