Heads or Tails, Risks or Regrets
My greatest regret was letting you go, knowing that I would never see you again. But how could I deny the look in your eyes, no longer did I see the spark of brightness, no longer did I know what you were thinking. I let you go, I walked away, and now I sit here and wonder what would my life be like if I fought for you? You always knew that I couldn't deny you anything. It just took one word, so broken and full of pain that I realized I couldn't deny you this request. Please. Who knew that I would come to hate that word? I left, but look at what is left of me. I'm a shell, just skin without a soul.
Laughter echoed through the hallway as a young boy and girl dashed towards their room. They swept passed a man, probably in his early twenties, but barely spared him a glance. The older man's gaze followed them; his blue eyes held no emotion even as sadness coursed through his body. To be that young, that carefree…what he would give to hold that hope. He shook his head as he resumed his unhurried pace. His eyes glanced at each number on the door, trying to find his room.
His smile didn't reach his eyes as he used the hotel key to open the door. The smell of cleaners awakened his tired senses as he trudged through the carpet that was no longer the pristine white that it used to be. His suspicious glance took in the small room. White walls smeared with marks that no matter how many times it was cleaned wouldn't go away without an extra coat of paint. His eyes lingered on the radio as he debated what was more important. He was in much need of a goodnight sleep, but he knew that his dreams would turn into nightmares, which was exactly what he was trying to avoid. With only a few hours here and there, he knew that come tomorrow he wouldn't be able to walk if he didn't catch a few minutes of rest.
He walked towards the bed, patting the mattress that was calling out to him, a siren of the land, luring him to his doom. He shuffled his feet, dislodging them from their confines as he pulled back the sheets. Ignoring the stains of use, he dropped down onto the bed, feeling the lumps that pressed into his back. He stared at the ceiling watching the water stains turn into cracks that developed into tears of the plaster. His eyes began to droop even as he tried to force them open.
Sleep called out to him.
The bed beckoned him into false hope.
His eyes shut as he prayed he would dream of darkness and nothing more. No shouts, no screams, no cries of help.
His prayers went unanswered.
We always believed that we would be able to save each other. I was your salvation, you were mine. But that didn't turn out the way we expected it, did it? I was never really able to save you; you were still lost in the abysmal torment that ruled your life, the torment that I caused. I felt our lives drift apart, I felt you slowly leave and I let you. I always let you win. Why didn't I ever stand up and fight for you? Why didn't I show you that our love could conquer all? Why wasn't I ever enough for you?Why couldn't you trust in us?
The man woke up, staring at the empty walls, sweat dripping from his forehead as his harsh breathing filled the room. He pushed back the sheets and stumbled out of the bed as he walked towards the bathroom. Turning on the light, he glanced at his image, finally seeing the fear in his eyes. He took a deep breath and tried to push his emotions out of the way. He turned on the water faucet, watching the steady stream pour out. His cupped hands reached towards the coolness as he closed his eyes. He leaned forward and splashed his face, trying to wash away the pain. Grabbing the small towel, he patted his face. Wash away his pain? More like wash away the demons that had a hold on his life, he would never be able to escape them.
Turning off the light, he left the bathroom and walked towards the nightstand. Grabbing the hotel key, he walked out of the room, disregarding the fact he didn't put on shoes. His feet padded against the carpet, his footsteps now silent as he walked towards the staircase.
Ever since he was a young boy he could find solace in any staircase. He would often get odds looks just sitting at the steps, trying to find out which choice to make. He viewed staircases as some people viewed crossroads; he had a decision to make, one that could be right or wrong. He pushed open the door and sat down on the steps.
With his elbows on his knees, he rested his head in his hands. He groaned out loud when he pulled out his watch. Only three hours have passed since he first entered the hotel. How was he supposed to live when he was afraid of the shadows that haunt him?
His father was a hard man, but fair. He would always say that men had to face their fears; men who ran were pansy-lickin' wimps. Was that what had become of him? He was twenty-two years old and he was afraid to sleep.
His laughter turned into a groan when he realized the situation he was in. "Why this life?" he muttered, staring at the scars that etched across his hands.
He was so lost in his thoughts he didn't hear the soft footsteps or see the shadow walk down the stairs until the figure dropped down next to him. He stifled the jump of surprise as he glanced at the girl from the corner of his eyes.
"Can't sleep either?" she asked, fiddling with her nightgown.
He slowly shook his head. "No, I can't sleep," he said, his voice low and dry.
"Do you have a cold?" she asked, concern filling her voice as she peered at his face. She lifted her hand and placed it on his forehead. Shaking her head she whispered, "No fever. Do you need some water?"
Instead of grinning at her abandonment he forced the biting words out. "You always talk to strangers, girl?"
She rolled her eyes. "Girl? I'll have you know that I'm nin—."
"Do I look like I care?"
She laughed and nudged her shoulder against mine. "You're refreshing."
He couldn't help but shake his head. Refreshing? Was that a compliment? "Why are you wondering around by yourself? Don't you know that there could be lowlifes in this place?" he asked, trying to put the fear into her.
"Lowlifes, huh? Are you one of them? Should I go running down the stairs screaming in terror?" she asked sarcastically.
"Why down?" he suddenly asked.
"Excuse me?" she looked up, her eyes showing her confusion at his odd question.
"Why go down and not up?"
"Because down is easier," she stated as if it was a matter of fact.
"But up is safe," he whispered out of the corner of his mouth, low enough so she wouldn't hear his words.
"You got a name or shall I ever refer to you as the mystery man on the staircase?"
"Why would you talk about me?" he asked. He was nobody, just a man passing through, trying to make a life for himself. Yet even as he thought that, he knew that it was a lie. For the first time in his life he wished that he the type of guy that wouldn't leave any footsteps in the sand that he would die a forgotten man.
"Everyone knows that the most intellectually stimulating conversation between two strangers happen in the middle of the night on a staircase," she teased, her smile brightening her whole face.
He snorted. "Stimulating?" he asked, rubbing his jaw with his hand, feeling the harsh bristles of hair against his skin.
"Don't go talking dirty to me mister," she warned, her green eyes flashing with humor.
"Wasn't planning on it little girl," he muttered, wishing that he went outside, at least then he would be able to have a smoke.
"Emily Kane. It's nice meeting you…" she said, not noticing the way the man's head jerked towards her. When she finally glanced up she saw his wide eyes but failed to observe the way his hands shook. Sweat beaded on his forehead as he struggled to breathe. Was she really in front of him?
"Bennett Anderson," he answered, glancing down in hopes of calming down. This couldn't be happening, this shouldn't be happening.
"It's nice to meet you Bennett."
"Weren't you taught that it's not nice to refer to someone in the first name until the said person grants you permission?" he bit the words out, praying that she would run back up the stairs.
"Does it look like I went to a finishing school?" she asked, affronted at his assumption.
He glanced down at her pristine nightgown, buttoned up to her neck. His gaze took in the ruffled color, the perfectly primped hair, the small button nose and wandered towards her luscious lips. "It does," he whispered hoarsely, jerking his attention back towards his hands.
"Well you're right," she muttered, once again fiddling with her nightgown.
He couldn't help but grin at her words, her voice was filled with disgust. "So why are you talking to me?"
She looked at him with surprise. "Don't you know Mr. Anderson? We're going to be the best of friends."
Those three words stilled his heart.
Best of friends? How could we have been that when there were too many secrets? We promised that we would tell each other everything, our hopes, our dreams, but that didn't cover the deepest pains that lie in our heart. Maybe that was our mistake. We believed that love could conquer everything, love would pull us through. Love was just a lonely wave amongst many, trying to fight its way into the whirlpool of emotions. Love couldn't face anger; love couldn't stand up against lies.
It was the second night at the hotel and here he was once again, sitting at the staircase, waiting for inspiration to hit. Should he run or should he stay? Should he face his fears and tell the truth or should he admit defeat? His heart was begging to run, he couldn't do this, he couldn't face her sweet smile, but his head argued that it wouldn't be right, he had to stay.
"You look like you have the weight on you shoulders," she said when she rounded the stairs. Her feet peaked out of the bottom of her nightgown walked towards him.
"Just thoughts in my head," he whispered as she sat down next to him.
"Would talking about it help?" she asked, swinging her feet out in front of him.
"Nah, why talk a subject to death, what's that going to do?"
She grabbed his hand, her thumb brushing over his scars as she said, "My nana always said that talking helps cleanse the soul. Does you're soul need cleansing?" she joked.
More than you know, he thought.
"Why don't you talk?" Bennett commented but instantly regretted the action.
"Talk, you say? What shall I ever talk about? I'm just a normal girl, twenty years old and already witnessed the hardships of the world."
"Hardships?" he asked, but the words came out with sarcasm dripping of the two syllables.
Her green eyes flashed with anger as she dropped his hand. "You sexist pig," she sneered as she started to stand up.
Bennett watched her go for a brief second before jumping up from his place. He grabbed her hand, stilling her movement. Her eyes swept down to stare at their interlocking. "Please don't leave," he whispered, pulling her back towards him.
Smiling she sat down next to him. "Do you believe in love?"
He stilled for a moment, wondering if he should answer. Before he could say anything, she whispered, "I've been in love before."
He closed his eyes, wishing that he change the past. He would do everything differently, maybe then his demons wouldn't haunt him.
"What is love?" he asked, hoping to divert her attention.
She looked at him with sympathy. "Love is everything. Love is cruel, love is beautiful. Love is pure, love is selfish."
"Love is just a word," he muttered.
"It's more than a word, its feelings, true emotions that enrapture a person within moments. It's not—"
"It's fleeting," he filled in.
"But worth the risk," she stated.
"Why risk heartache?" he asked, completely perplexed by the idea. Why add more pain to life?
"Because there are those moments were love is everlasting. It's perfectly imperfect," she said softly, twirling a strand of hair. Bennett watched her carefully, seeing the glazed expression in her eyes as she was slowly swept away into her thoughts. He thought he saw her mouth the name 'Jeremy' but tried not to think of it.
"Perfectly imperfect," he whispered leaning against the railing as they sat in silence.
For years I believed it was my fault, I should have done something else, made you believe in yourself, made you believe in us. But you knew along didn't you? Love was cruel, love was beautiful. Love was pure, love was selfish. What love did we have? For so long I believed that our love was pure, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe our love was selfish, I was selfish…
Bennett pushed his plate towards the flowery display on the table and leaned back in his chair. His keen eyes took in every guest, every movement that was made. His eyes kept straying back to the married couple. As they conversed, they would take each others food or swap dishes. It wasn't the familiarity or the fact they had knowledge about each others likes or dislikes, it was the natural movement, as if they always knew this was meant to be. Bennett shook his head and didn't even have to wonder where his romantic musings were coming from because he already knew the answer.
For the past five days since the first night they met, they would try together when ever possible. All of their meetings took place during the night on the staircase. But no matter how many conversations they had together, his restlessness was never broached, though it was not because Emily did not try. She thought it would be better if he talked about his feelings, but how could he tell her?
The dining hall doors swung open as the young girl rushed into the room. Her footsteps echoed as the patrons turned to glance at her in shock. She ignored the stares and rushed towards his side.
"Benny my life is over," she exclaimed as she sat down in the chair he pushed out with his foot.
This was the first time they actually spoke in public, but he didn't mention it. Instead he asked, "What's the matter?"
Her eyes portrayed the silence and heartache she wouldn't talk about. "I have to attend a banquet."
"Why is that so bad? Maybe you'll meet a dashing young man and fall in love," he said, trying to lighten the mood.
"It's in honor of a hero," she muttered, emphasizing the disgust in the word.
"Hero?" Bennett asked slowly, trying to keep his emotions in check.
"My mother is making it out as if he saved Europe all by himself. What about the people who died for their cause? What about the men you had hopes and dreams, lives that didn't revolve around killing? Aren't they heroes? Shouldn't they be recognized?" she asked, her eyes beseeching for him to agree. "That's the real reason why we're here, not because of my father's business. They wanted to attend this banquet. What man can call himself a hero when all the men in the platoon except him died? Does he really think it is an honor?"
She groaned. "I'm a horrible person aren't I? It's just that—I can't face—Bennett?"
Bennett froze, barely listening to the words that poured out of her mouth. Banquet? She wouldn't, but he already knew that she did. His mother, the belle of the ball just had to throw a soirée, only she took it too far. Him? A hero? He stifled the laughter that threatened to erupt as he stared down at the scars on his hands.
The screams of his friends echoed in his head, calling for help, trying to bargain with God. Please don't take me; I have a daughter at home who needs her father.
The bombs that exploded, enveloping the area in darkness as rivers of blood streamed on the ground.
Men who didn't realize what happened reached for their guns only to see that they had no arms.
"Bennett? Bennett? Someone please help!" Emily screamed, shaking the man in front of her. Bennett's eyes were closed as his fingers clenched the white cloth in front of him. For minutes she has been trying to get his attention but he wouldn't respond.
"Please Bennett, this isn't funny," she begged, hoping that he was playing a cruel joke. She shook his arm, only to hit the pitcher of water over the table. It fell onto the ground, exploding into small pieces. Emily stared at Bennett, feeling the hopelessness swell her as she dropped to the ground to pick up the glass. A shard pricked her finger but she scarcely paid attention to the small drops of blood, her mind focused on the man in front of her. She watched as he shook his head, his shaking hand grasped his glass of water only to find it empty.
Bennett glanced around the room, noting the silence and the stares aimed in his direction. He looked for Emily, only to find crouching on the ground by his side. He blinked his eyes, trying to make sense of his jumbled thoughts.
"Emily? Why are you on the ground?" he asked after clearing his throat.
"Bennett?" she asked, hoping that he wasn't leaving her again. Her hand reached out to touch his. Bennett followed her movement just as her hand grazed his; he jumped out of his seat, knocking the chair over.
He started shaking his head, his wide blue eyes staring at her with horror. He wasn't a hero. How could he be called a hero? He was a coward, a man that didn't deserve living. Emily, the sweetest girl he's ever known and he was playing her like a fool. How could he do that? Would a hero do that, he thought with disgust.
"Bennett? What's wrong?" she asked, holding her hand out once again. His eyes strayed to the small amount of blood forming on her thumb. He watched as the small trail sweep down her hands, flowing…blood was always flowing.
His heart started to pound as memories of bombarded his mind. The pounding was proof that he was alive, and yet his mind screamed that he should have been dead. He would have been dead, if it wasn't for…
His eyes locked with hers as he whispered the name that would haunt him forever. "Jeremy."
I'd like to believe our love was the essence of true beauty. I'd also like to believe that we were happy together, but maybe I'm the fool. You were my beacon of hope. Whenever I felt lost I knew I could turn to you because you were the only one who could sooth my fears. With that ever-crazy grin of yours, all you had to do was laugh and I felt like I was melting. You were my everything and I let you go.
"Bennett, I really don't know what I am going to do with you," Emily said, coming up from behind to wrap her arms around his waist. He sighed and turned around in her grasp, pulling her against his chest; he leaned forward and kissed her cheek.
"I don't know…maybe love me," he answered back, his breath causing her auburn hair to stir.
She swatted his arm and started to pull him back towards the party. He started dragging his feet in hopes to stop her, but she just glared at him. "Do we have to?" he pouted.
"Don't even think about doing that," she warned, tapping her foot against the concrete terrace. She took a quick step backwards, but he already had his arms wrapped around her waist. She laughed in delight as he spun her around. "I love you Emily Kane, I love you more than anything in this world."
She ran her hand through his hair, feeling the soft bristles against her skin. "I love you Bennett Anderson, you're my everything."
He smiled against her lips before pulling away with a sigh. "We might as well get this party done with."
"Why are you complaining? This is important."
"I'll be there in a minute, why don't you go in without me?" He watched her walk away, her dress swirling against her ankles with each step. Taking a deep breath, he turned around and stared at the sky, wondering if he was doing the right thing.
He was engaged soon to be a married man in love with his wife. He felt as if the weight was lifted off his shoulders, but he knew that was a lie. He still couldn't work up to courage to tell Emily the truth.
Seven months have passed since the morning of the banquet. For some odd reason, Emily didn't hear or see the word Bennett whispered. She didn't know the real reason of why he looked at her with ever-growing horror. But how could he tell her that it was his fault? How could he look into her beautiful green eyes and tell her the reason why her fiancé was dead was because Jeremy pushed him out of the way? Could he really watch the love in her eyes turn into hatred? He knew as the time dragged on that her feelings would only worsen.
Maybe it was wrong of him to feel this way. Jeremy would always talk about his girl back home, how she was beautiful and smart. 'You just had to look at her smile and knew that everything would be okay' was what he would always say at the trenches. He would carry a picture in the back of his pants, always pulling it out when he had the chance. Grime would cover his entire body, but the look in his eyes when he just sat there staring at her picture made us believe that we could get through this.
It was an unexpected bombing that took us by surprise. He pushed me out of the way. As Bennett stumbled on the ground a few feet away, Jeremy was bleeding to death. Bennett has always wondered if he knew what he was doing, did he really mean to give his life up for him. Did he really want him to be the hero?
Bennett knew since the night of the banquet held in his honor that he was in love with her. Even though months have passed since that night, he could still remember the way his heart pounded as he entered the ballroom. He didn't look for his family or his friends, instead his eyes searched through the crowds trying to spot her. When he finally saw her shock-filled eyes staring into his own, his heart pounded in his chest as he felt as if he were home. He only knew her for five days and yet he couldn't think about anyone else but her.
He nodded his hellos and politely left when conversation around him pulled him in as he pushed his way to her side. Bennett could still remember seeing the hurt expression in her eyes. At the time he thought it was because the banquet was held for him and he never told her, but when she pulled him into her arms—ignoring the gasps of outrage coming from her people—he realized the real reason. She was sorry that she brought up the bad memories. Emily forced him to look into her eyes when she whispered, "I don't pity you."
Those four words were music to his ears. He couldn't stand the glances of pity that was thrown his way as he wandered into rooms alone, his eyes aloof, his manners impeccable but lacked warmth. Though he was hailed a hero, there were always comments of how he would never be the same and he wasn't. But Emily was able to change that, she was able to bring his happiness back.
But how long would it last before his world came crashing down?
I have only one question that will forever haunt me to my death, can you ever forgive me?
"Emily, can you please make up your mind?" Bennett begged as he shifted the weight of the box in his arms.
"Will you stop whining and give me a moment. Don't you want me to have it right the first time so you don't have to keep moving?" Emily asked sweetly as she smirked.
Bennett's eyes narrowed as he carefully set the box down. Emily laughed and slowly backed away. "Now Bennett…"
She laughed as he started chasing her through the house. He stopped when she darted in the kitchen and swept behind Anna's high-chair. With a huge smile, Anna laughed at her father, waving her arms in the air. Bennett slowly walked towards her and tickled her beneath her chin. Cooing meaningless words, he picked her up and swung her in the air. The one year old laughed in delight filling her father with pride and joy. He glanced over towards Emily only to pause in surprise. Emily wasn't smiling or rolling her eyes like she usually was, but was frowning at the duo. Placing Anna at his hip, he strolled over towards Emily and placed his arm around her waist.
"I love you," he whispered, hoping that the words would evoke some response.
For the past few weeks, Emily would be fine one minute and act like he was the Grimm Reaper the next. He tried to figure out the reasons behind her mood swings but she would never say, she only blamed it on the stress of moving.
Bennett didn't think anything of it and maybe that was a mistake.
"Are you're parents coming to pick up Anna today?" Bennett asked.
"Yes, they want to take her to the park," Emily answered stiffly.
Bennett nodded and waited for her to calm down.
"Hello! Where's my beautiful angel?" Mrs. Kane called out, her voice traveling from the foyer and into the kitchen. Anna clapped her hands and motioned to go. Bennett smiled, briefly brushed his lips against Emily's temple and walked out of the room.
Emily let out the breath she was holding as she gripped her hands tighter. Could she do this, could she confront Bennett about the truth? While packing four weeks ago, she thought it would be best if she was the one who went his army materials. She didn't want him to be reminded of the battle that caused him so much pain. As she was shaking his uniform, trying to dislodge the dust, a worn and torn letter fell out. Tempted to read it, she respected his privacy and was about to place it in one of the pockets. Just as her hand was sliding out of the pocket, she fingers brushed against another paper. Pulling it out, she saw that it was an image of her and Jeremy together.
"Emily?" Bennett called out, standing in front of her, his eyes conveying his concern.
She smiled briefly as she thought of how she was able to connect the pieces. Bennett Anderson was Lt. Anderson, the man that Jeremy always wrote about, his friend, his mentor. Emily didn't care that Bennett knew Jeremy, she was actually glad the two found friendship with each other. It was the note that was inside Bennett's uniform that caused fueled her anger.
She still remembered the shock after reading that one line over and over again.
I know that I shouldn't ask you to do this but I've seen the way you look at her picture, and all I ask is that if I'm gone, cherish her with all you're heart.
"Emily?" Bennett asked again, rubbing his hands up and down her arm. Emily's eyes fluttered for a couple of seconds before she backed away.
"You knew Jeremy?" she said softly, the pain lacing her voice caused his heart to break. Bennett stiffened, staring at her with wide eyes that portrayed his shock. She knew?
"Emily it's not what you think," he said, praying she wouldn't draw any conclusions before he explained.
"Did you marry me because he asked you to?"
Bennett shook his head. Was that really what she thought? Couldn't she see the way he loved her, he would do anything for her. "Emily, I love you. I love the way you say what's on your mind even if you know society might shudder at the thought. I love the way you can make me laugh and want to cry at the same time. I love your patience and your passion. I love the beauty of your soul. I would give my life up for you, don't you know that?"
Emily's laughter echoed in the silent room. "Love is fleeting, it's just a word," she said, repeating the words he once told her.
"Don't do this…"
"Do what? Tell the truth? At times I can overlook your lies, I can still believe that I'm that same girl that fell in love with you on the staircase, but then I remember why you married me. I hate you for that," she said, wanting to hurt him as much as she hurt. She watched as he closed his eyes, line etching around his mouth as he tried to hold back his feelings. "I hate you so much that I wish that you were the one who died."
As the words registered in his mind, he felt all hope die. The words he heard whispered in his dreams finally became reality. It should have been him, he should have been the one buried six feet under, not Jeremy. He was living a lie, cowering from the truth. It was time to face his demons. As he opened his eyes, he saw Emily staring at him with horror. He could tell she regretted her words, but he couldn't comfort her. How could he when she spoke the truth?
Emily was unable to speak; she saw how the words affected him and wished she could take them back. No matter what she said she would always love him, but at the moment she couldn't forgive him. His eyes were as cold as when she first saw them. No longer did they express his emotions; he was closed off. Without knowing what she was doing, she walked towards him and wrapped her arms around his waist. At first he stood still, his arms at his side, but when he felt her shudder, he wrapped his around her. His hold was tight as if she would run at moments notice. Bennett lifted her up and buried his face against her neck, breathing in deeply. As swiftly as his lips sought her, they pushed apart. Their harsh breathing filled in the silence that encompassed the kitchen.
"I can't do this," the words pleaded, begged for the other to understand.
"I love you."
"Then let me go, just let me go…please?" that one request caused the other to leave the room, to walk away without looking back.
I let you go, I walked away. Why didn't I fight? Maybe then I could have been there, I could have been by your side. There's not a day that goes by that I don't remember that phone call. It only took one ring accompanied by a few words that caused my world to fall apart. Was it my fault, was I the reason why you crashed your car? The police could never find a reason why your car suddenly swerved to the side. How could I explain to our sweet daughter that you were never coming back?
"Is there anything else you need?" asked the tired waitress as she switched her weight from one foot to the other.
The customer's hand stilled the napkin in front of him filled with the words that poured from the heart. The blue eyes filled with tears as he silently remembered the words he written.
He glanced up and stared at the woman in front of him. Bennett shook his head unable to say anything. The waitress eyes filled with sympathy as she took in his untidy appearance. Though his graying hair was uncombed and his shirt hung off his thin frame, it was his blue eyes that held captured her attention. They were so full of pain as if he was haunted by a lost memory. Her eyes followed the movement of his right hand as he fiddled with his wedding ring on his left hand.
"No thank you ma'am," he replied, his voice think and unused.
"What are you doing here this time of night?"
The man raised his head and gazed around the room. His eyes strayed towards the door as if he was waiting for them to be pushed open. "I met my wife in this hotel thirty-three years ago," he said softly, his eyes filling with tears. He didn't see the waitress walk away as he turned his attention back the letter he was writing.
I've always wondered if you knew that you were pregnant with our second child at the time of the crash. When I heard that news, I felt my heart break in two. Not only did I loose the woman I loved, I lost a precious child. I blamed myself for so long; I thought I couldn't go on living. I remembered the day you begged me to teach you how to drive; I now wish that I never did. Maybe you would still be alive, maybe I wouldn't be here by myself. If you were still alive you would be able to see Ana's newborn, a little boy who has the green eyes just like his grandmother. He took one look at me and started to wail so loud that I almost dropped him.
Oh Emily, you would have been so proud of our daughter, she's beautiful. She's so happy all you have to do is look at the radiance in her eyes to know. She's just like you, always bugging me about how I'm feeling. She's a huge believer in speaking the truth, something I know she got from you. She thinks I'm chasing memories coming down here by myself. She wanted to come, she probably would have but I've learned how to be sneaky when it comes to her. In the beginning, she would huff and puff about me getting back in the dating game, I laughed right out loud when she first said that. She said that I was turning into an old goat without someone to talk to—I never did tell her that I wrote you letters, she probably would have laughed, she knows how poor my penmanship is. That doesn't bother you does it sweetheart? You still know what I write, even if you can't actually read the words.
Your presence feels stronger tonight, I think it's because I'm here were I first laid eyes on my angel. You are my angel, the love of my life. Can I tell you a secret? It was worth the risk, loving you, I'll admit there were times that the pain became too much, but then I would think of your sweet smile and I couldn't help but laugh. Loving you was one of the smartest things I've ever done. Loving you is something I will never regret.
Laughter echoed through the hallway as a young boy and girl dashed towards their room. They swept passed a ma in his early fifties, but barely spared him a glance. The older man's gaze followed them; his blue eyes held happiness even as sadness coursed through his body. To be that young, that carefree, they had the worlds at their feet, all they had to do was reach out. He shook his head as he resumed his unhurried pace, leaning on his cane for extra support. His eyes glanced at each number on the door, trying to find his room.
He smiled, remembering that time long ago when he walked towards this room. The smell of cleaners awakened his tired senses as he trudged through the carpet that was beige. He glanced around the room, comparing it to the first time he was there. The walls were immaculate white. The radio was replaced by a television set, however he didn't pay any attention to that. He slowly placed the letter on the nightstand, telling himself that he had to finish it in the morning. He was too tired and was in need of a goodnight sleep.
He walked towards the bed, patting the mattress that was calling out to him, a siren of the land, luring him to his dreams. He shuffled his feet, dislodging them from their confines as he pulled back the sheets. His eyes began to droop even as he tried to force them open.
Sleep called out to him.
The bed beckoned him into false hope.
His eyes shut as he prayed he would dream of his angel, her smile, her laugh.
His prayers went answered as he went willingly into her arms.
He was finally home was his last thought he ever had.
So that was it...good/bad/really don't care? To answer any possible questions, he did die in the end and the war was WWII (timeline really didn't match up, but hopefully no one minds) Hopefully this wasn't too confusing, I really liked the idea but I'm the author, so that doesn't count, does it?