The storm last night was terrifying. The winds whistled as they plowed down trees. The rain battered the streets. It seemed like the storm was there for a reason. It seemed like the winds wanted to convey a message. Maybe it was there to punish the ungrateful, it was there to punish those who have sinned.
The storm passed, faded into the sunlight that peered shyly through the clouds. I could hear the rumbling fade. I clenched onto the mattress, covered my face with a pillow to gently ignore the sunlight. I stared onto the mirror to the side of our bed. Mornings like these are reminiscent of the good old times.
As I let out a deep sigh, her hand slid through my waist. It trailed right across my waist and onto the chest. The soft touch seemed to ease the stiffened muscles on my chest. I’ve never felt better.
“Brad?” she said with a creaky yet soft voice. The voice had a persona of its own.
“You were shivering last night” she said as she caressed my chest. I could feel her chin on my shoulder. The warm air from her breath was somehow comforting.
“Really? I couldn’t know Ellie” I said as I held onto her lurking hand. Her palms were cold, They always were. I rubbed them, took a deep breath.
“You always shiver on nights like those. You’re just one 30 year old baby..” she said.
I hear a soft giggle at the far end of the room. Dorothy is surely an early bird. I could almost picture her fiddling with her fat elephant buddy in her cradle. ‘Dumdum’ is what we call him.
“Bad luck, you know you have two babies to look after right?” I say with a grin.
“I’m glad I don’t have to change diapers for the both of you.” She giggles.
I take a second to embrace the atmosphere. The cold touch of her hands, the blood rushing down the tiny veins in her palms. The creases of wear on those palms, her soft and light presence.
“Isn’t it beautiful? The fact that such a sunny day had to follow a storm.” She sighs.
“It sure is, mornings like these remind me of the time you told me you were pregnant” I said as I gazed upon us on the mirror.
“Oh sure. You reminisce a lot of the times when I’m fat and ugly” she sighs again.
“You’re not fat now?” I ask with a queer smile.
She seemed to ignore the question altogether. I could almost imagine that disgusted grin on her pretty face.
“What do mornings like these remind you of?” I ask her.
“The day we met. The day you proposed. The day we made our vows.” She says in trance.
“So days like these remind you of our whole lives?” I said smiling again.
“It kinda does. Remember the time you took me on a picnic? We had wine in an abandoned playground.” She said.
“Yeah. We were reckless. We had so much fun. Remember the time you rejected me in highschool?” I said with a grin.
“Twas just a test!” she said. Elli probably should never audition for a play.
“I’m glad you’re here. I’m glad we’re here. In this moment, in this bed.” She pecks my neck with a soft kiss.
“I’m glad that Dorothy is here!” I try to add in. I clench onto her hands. Cold, yet soothing.
The silence that followed was a melody. I wish we were in that moment for eternity.
I hear rumbling down the street. I look towards the window, I see a bolt of lightning fall into our lawn.
I feel startled. Ellie’s hand clenches back. She buries her face into my neck.
The sky turns black as soon as the bolt strikes, clouds reappear in a jiffy.
As I look through the window feeling terrified, Ellie leans into my ear and whispers.
“Where were you Brad?” she whispers with a hoarse voice. Her hand claps down on my hand like a bear trap.
“Where were you when we needed you?” she says with a higher tone.
I’m slowly reminded of the worst day I could’ve possibly had.
“Where were you that night?” she screams into my ears. My hand bleeds as she digs her nails into my palms.
I remember, I was away that night. With an excuse of being to a meeting, I was out partying. I needed to blow off some steam. How I wish I could take that night back. How I wish I would’ve just stayed, played with my little girl. Her little giggles still lingers, her smile etched onto my broken heart. Instead, I spent a countless amount of cash on liquor.
Trying to numb a kind of pain that didn’t exist.
“We needed you.” She cries.
“How could you Brad?”
“The vows you made, they were in my head as he put the bullet through it!” she wails.
The giggles turn into silent cries, I see blood drip down the cradle.
I feel suffocated. Deep regret grips me.
“Couldn’t you be here for Dorothy? Couldn’t you be here for her little, fragile life?” she scratches my arms with brute force.
I cry. I scream. Why did have to be that night? Why did someone have to rob the house on that night? Why not the countless nights we slept with our doors unlocked? Why did it have to be the night I wasn’t around? Why did he have take two lives along with the money? Why couldn’t he just ask for money? Why couldn’t he spare my helpless child? It was my fault. I was responsible. He might’ve pulled the trigger, but I was the reason behind it.
“Why?” she cries.
I want to hug her for the last time. I want to cuddle Dorothy was the final time. How I wish I could play with her for the last time. Feed her, watch her fall asleep in my arms. Her tiny posture sinking into my lap. Watch her clasp onto my finger with her tiny little paw.
I want to hug ellie, how I wish I could hug her, it always made her feel alright.
“You still don’t remember, do you?” she said sniffing.
I try to pay attention to her words but I’m lost. I didn’t realize the tears running down my cheeks. I squeeze my eyes tight. I scream.
The storm had passed as soon as i opened my eyes. Maybe it was a bad dream, maybe she’s still behind me. Engaged in a deep slumber. Maybe our little Dorothy is still in the cradle, my only bundle of happiness.
I turn around, lay my hand on the other side of the bed.
The cold spot on the other side of the bed sends shivers down my spine.
I hear a whisper, “You were there. Why were you there? Why were you here? Why did you do this to us? Was that even you?”
I look onto the mirror, I see a bloody pistol laying on my side of the bed.