Till Death Do Us Part

Till Death Do Us Part

10 mins 485 10 mins 485

A throbbing ache spread behind my closed lids as the discreet streaks of the morning rays sneaking through the curtains glistened upon my face. I heard the yawn that escaped from my mouth as I turned to the other side of my bed while tossing the pillow over my head only to stop the blaring rays of the sun to pierce through my eyes. My fingers curled around the furry duvet while the other palm of mine reached slowly towards the direction where you must be sleeping with your head under the pillow. I stretched out my arm in order to trail the soft heaving of your chest while you slept peacefully beside me. But who would have known that it would be all in vain.

The curve that bloomed on my lips kept fading away bit by bit every time my palm met the shuddering coldness of the mattress that should have been warm with your presence on it. I flinched slightly, when I found quivers biting through the flesh of my palm rather than your warmth soaking it up. My eyes fluttered open, eager and desperate to see the sight of the familiar face of yours that emanated nothing but serenity and calmness. And then, my heart sank upon seeing the side of the bed that belonged to you all vacant and bleak, devoid of your warmth. And my love, you were not there.

Yanking the duvet away from me, I jolted out of the bed with a sudden numbness crawling up my feet as the need to find you gripped me hard. My eyes roamed around our room when I stumbled back into the bed. I glanced around the whole room once again to see the familiar photo frames that held our memories on the walls and on the tables. But all my eyes took in were bare white washed walls, splashed with emptiness. But all I saw, were those tables with no trace of those frames that contained our pictures. All I got was a deafening silence surrounding me while a hollowness crept inside of me, causing me to shake to the very core of my being.

Twisting the doorknob, I rushed out of a room that I could no longer recognize and trod down the stairs while letting the numbed tips of my fingers trail along the metal of the banister. A pain kept shooting across my back with every step that I took as I kept looking hither and thither beside me, expecting to see those vibrant portraits of yours that we had hung on that gray wall. Halting in my steps, faltering a bit I felt my heart sinking deeper than before when I saw the wall absolutely empty and brutally naked without the pieces of beauty that you had drawn of the memories that we had once created. And now, I heard a hollowness screaming at me and mocking my attempts to get a glimpse of yours in a place that I was no longer able to cognize or remember anymore.

A familiar wave of relief crashed onto me as I knew you should be right there beside the countertop and effortlessly flipping those signature pancakes of yours while swaying to the beats of our favorite song. I knew you should be right there near the coffee maker, humming softly the tune that blared through the headphones that you draped around your neck while brewing the coffee for us. Clutching onto my knees, I let out a sigh as a sudden bolt of ache grabbed them and kept raging through them as I walked into the kitchen. My breaths felt hitched in my parched throat when I found myself still pushing air down those constricted airways of mine. My body felt exhausted, and on the verge of collapsing as I kept dragging myself towards the kitchen. I awaited to hear that soft humming of yours, I awaited to smell those delicious pancakes of yours, and all I got was nothing.

I leaned against the empty countertop, as giddiness seized my mind. This wasn't even the kitchen where you and I had made the brunch for us after waking up to those coutnless mornings with fates sealed to each other and bodies entangled together. This wasn't the kitchen that you used to obsess over to keep it undeniably neat and tidy, rather it was a place that reeked of emptiness, a kind of hollowness so deep and so immense that I could feel it in every bone of my being.

I doubled over holding my chest, as the heaviness kept tightening the knots in the pits of my stomach, causing me to writhe in pain and desperation. There was still no trace of yours, and neither of the place that was supposed to be the home that we had built together. My heart kept drowning in the sea of emptiness that blanketed me, while my eyes kept meandering all over the place only in the search of you, only in the search of that one person who was the heart of the small universe that I had created with the love of ours.

Stumbling backwards, my back hit the foot of the recliner that stood adjacent to the hall. This was the same recliner, the black leathered one where you used to sit on with me nestled against your chest. This was where you and I had spent those lazy weekends wrapped around one another while binging on our favorite series of the peaky blinders. This was where my love, you would always put me down while tightening your grip on me as your lips fervently melted onto mine upon seeing me after gruelling hours of working away from me and this place that we made our home. But then, I noticed that this wasn't the same recliner that I remembered rather was another one made of velvety black cotton that I failed to recognize. And yet again, it was back - the crushing emptiness laughing at me as I again longed to see the very sight of yours.

I heard the ticking of the clock on the wall in front of me, it was past ten in the morning. And there, the lost smile wove its way back to my lips when I realized where you would be at the moment. Taking small steps, I found myself wavering as my feet felt heavy. I wanted to rush towards the veranda, but was shackled by the fierce jolts of pain that kept surging in my knees and back, and now making its way to my head. My fingers trembled as I fumbled with the lock of the door, while trepidation kept settling in my heart. Sliding the door open, I stood fixated to my spot as I awaited to see you standing by the rusted railing with that classic between your hands that you forgot to finish. I awaited to see that frowns on your forehead and a glint in your eyes while you silently read the words etched beautifully on the novel. I anticipated to hear the tinckles of the wind chimes that dangled above your head as you kept reading with your nose scrunched upwards.

But then, what I saw was none of what I had been awaiting. All I saw were the wilted plants and flowers that we had adorned the verandah with. All I saw was a barrenness in front of me with anything but your presence. All I saw were the broken wind chimes laying in a corner with dust shrouding it. And there my love, my heart sank down and down all the way into the pit of hollowness that kept engulfing me. And once again, I miserably failed to recognize this place that was the beloved locus of ours.

I stood by the stairs, with the clammy palms of mine atop my ears as the deafening silence persistently rang around me. I called out your name, not once, not twice perhaps for the hundredth time only to be left unanswered. I slouched down onto the floor, my body ached severely like that of an old woman who was exhausted with every fibre of her being. My heart cracked while I kept looking for you in the place that was supposed to be my home yet felt unfamiliar and unknown. My soul bled, as I kept crying out your name again and again, only to get you back to me and to salvage me from the place that remained devoid of every remembrance of ours.

I walked back to the room that was supposed to be ours when the fleeting reflection of mine on the bedside mirror caught my gaze. And right then and there, I could no longer recognize myself.

I could no longer recognize the old woman that stared right at me from the mirror that stood by the side of my bed. Clenching my hands into fists, my eyes traced the visible hues of white and gray that covered every bit of the black hair that I remembered myself having since childhood. Unclenching the fists, I brought my hand to the face that I couldn't recognize as mine. My fingertips trailed the faint outline of the bags that resided underneath my jaded eyes. I felt the wrinkles that were etched across the skin of the face that was supposed to be mine. I rubbed the palms on the jagged and crinkled surface of my face, wincing at the frowns that made a permanent crease on my once smooth forehead. And that was when the awful realization crashed onto me, shoving me down in a unceasing phase of derealization and dread.

And that was when it dawned on me that I had grown old, but not with you by my side rather without you. Walking away from the mirror, I stared hard at the reflection of the old woman that kept seeing right through me until I knelt down onto the floor once again as wails kept breaking violently out of me. "What about those vows that we had taken to be with each other till we grew old, till death apart us from one another? " - I yelled into the silence that kept amplifying with every second as it kept swallowing me wholly. "What about those innumerous memories that we promised to treasure in the chambers of our hearts till we grew old and toothless?" - I whined until my throat burned and voice croaked. "Where have you gone, my love? " - I mumbled until the numbing hollowness covered every inch of me, until everything swirled around me, until everything kept withering away from me and until a pitch black darkness appeared behind my lids and until...

 And then, I could feel the hefty convulsions wrecking through my being. I could feel those warm hands of yours rubbing soothingly on my back. I could hear that luring voice of yours shushing me and bringing me back from the nightmarish depths of slumber. And as my eyes fluttered opened this time, I saw that face of yours right in front of me as you kept rocking me back and forth while holding me tight when I finally woke up from the horrendous dream. Curling my fist around your neck, I let out the held back breaths while my heart pounded against the ribs and my mind banged against that skull of mine. You placed your finger stoically under my chin, causing me to look at you and there I saw my reality right in those eyes of yours - the reality of ours and every bit of the nightmare that had grasped me a while ago kept disappearing in its entirety.

"I was here, right beside you and forever by your side till death do us part, sweetheart. " - You half whispered, while leaning your forehead onto mine. And all I did, was to nod my aching head and clutch onto that love of yours that kept becoming the anchor to my sinking soul every time the nasty claws of such nightmares filled with nothing but an apprehension of the future came to drag me down that abyss of derealization and dread.

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