Abigail looks at the plant despairingly; despite her care, she’s killed it. That’s depressing… painful. She never manages to keep anything alive.
You killed me, the plant seems to be crying, its flower heads dropping, grey and dark. Dead.
Her eyes burn; she shouldn’t start crying again. She’s done that most of the day already. For two weeks really. The sick leave was a good thing. Her vision blurs though, her eyes drowned in tears again. The emptiness is suffocating, the silence deafening.
That, though, is shattered, like her thoughts and heart, when the phone screams for attention startling her. She sighs.
“You don’t sound too happy to hear me, honey.”
“I am mom. Just tired.”
“You should come.”
“No mom. I’m fine.”
Her mother doesn’t fight, which is a blessing. Abigail shouldn’t be alone but she can’t stand to be around people. Their laughter, their very presence is like a knife in her gut, which gets twisted in her flank. She can smell the blood just like that day.
You killed me.
A child’s voice says. She whips around. Nothing. Of course. She shivers though. She remembers when she was carefree, not a worry in the world but to apply herself to her job and get a promotion. To be lovely so someone might fall in love with her. Now there’s only pain. Morning, day and evening.
She doesn’t sleep well; she dreams of blood. The pain in her stomach is unbearable, yet it doesn’t compare to the heartbreak. It’s always there. It won’t go away. When she finally falls asleep, just as the skies clear, she dreams of him.
She can’t see his face. She guesses who he is. She hates him. She loves him. She made him do a terrible thing. And she hears it again the voice
You killed me. She knows. But it was his fault.
“What would you have me do?” He asks.
And she thinks there’s pain in his voice too; maybe he finally understands.
“Take away the pain.”
“Are you sure?”
It feels like her heart is being ripped apart. She screams in her dreams. It wakes up her in fact. She’s panting, her sheets soaked with sweat.
She must go on though. She has to. She looks to the dead plant and sighs. She uses the pruner to cut it and the entire thing ends up in the garbage when she leaves for work.
Work is annoying; they all shuffle about her, as if she were some fragile thing. She should change jobs. She’s been thinking about it.
It’s him. Weird… the pain; it’s gone. There’s emptiness where it was.
“I didn’t think to see you here before another while.”
“Yes well… I couldn’t spend the rest of my life in mourning could I?”
“I… yes. Say would you have a walk with me?”
Why? She doesn’t really know. Maybe she wants to know why the pain is gone. They sit on a bench, in a remote area of the park. No sound reach them but for the lapping of water. The fragrance of daisies and roses is almost overwhelming.
“So…” He hesitates, proceeds to ask about how she feels.
How dare he? Interesting, she doesn’t even feel anger. She doesn’t feel pain or sorrow. She feels nothing.
She opens her purse and pulls the pruner out. She doesn’t remember putting it in. But it doesn’t matter. And he doesn’t have the chance to move when she plunges it into his heart. Let him feel the pain: let him feel as if his heart were being ripped apart. Wait it is! She is ripping out his heart. His blood’s warm on her hands; there’s a taste of iron on her tongue.
She turns… Here stands a man, whose face is in shadow. Much like in her dream. She looks back.
“You killed me Abbie.” John says. Why doesn’t it matter? “I’m sorry I forced you to ab…”
He never gets to finish the sentence. But she knows what he means. And pain fills her again and disappears. She lets go of the pruner. What has she done? What had he done?
“You wanted the pain gone. It is.”
The pain… but there is nothing left. Why?
“An interesting thing pain.” He approaches her and there something that surges deep within her and vanishes. Emotions can’t take hold apparently. “It makes you human. That’s why you feel.”
When the pruner plunges into her heart, she doesn’t feel anything. Not pain, not fear.
“You killed me.” He says, and his face changes. It’s not one she knows but she still recognizes it.
“I loved you.”
She never managed to keep anything alive. Not even the son she had been carrying. She deserves this… but the pain is gone. There’s not even relief.