Five Years Ago

I smiled at Casey Martin, my heart racing. He grinned back, his vivid blue eyes glowing. "Are you ready?" he asked me gently. I nodded.

"I promise," I murmured, and it was true. No matter what my parents said about this, I was ready for my life with Casey. Ready for the insults and snickers that were sure to be thrown my way, and his. When I had asked him about this he had simply laughed, saying he'd do and endure anything as long as he was with me.

"Then let's do this," he said softly, picking up my left hand as he got onto one knee.

"Christina Hope, you are my soul, my life. I've known you for a mere two years, but to me it seems as if I have been in your life since the day you were born. I love you, your family, pets, friends, everything about you. But I love you more than anything, more than my own life, more than my own family. Our age matters not; our love is timeless. Christina, will you marry me?" His eyes were shining with tears as he proposed officially to me.

"Yes," I whispered. "I, Christina Hope, will marry you, Casey Martin." The tears were overflowing now, running down my face, leaving glistening streaks on my cheeks. Casey softly placed a delicate gold band on my fourth finger. There was a shiny diamond in the middle with smaller sapphires inset on each side of it. As he placed the ring on my finger, I saw that his own tears had broken free, and were now trickling down his tanned face. "I love you," I said. His eyes, brimming with love, joy, and desire as he crashed his lips to mine, gave me the answer I needed—he loved me back.


A tear escapes one of my eyes as I think back to the day Casey proposed to me. I was ecstatic then, and I braved all of the insults, whispers, punishments, and dirty looks with a smile on my face, as did he. I was a seventeen year old girl madly in love, considered foolish by the rest of the world, but only following my heart as everyone had told me to so many times.

Now, as I look at the fragile form of my husband lying on the hospital bed next to me, I feel like screaming at the world, crying my eyes out, and killing myself all at the same time. Casey had cancer, and was nearing the end; the doctors said there was nothing they could do to make it less painful, or make it go away.

I trace the golden band on his ring finger softly, feeling the small, engraved words underneath the sensitive skin of my fingertips. I will love you for eternity. Christina, they said. My own ring said You're worth the worst torture, more than myself. Love forever, Casey. They are just a few of the words we used to convey how desperately we needed each other, how deep our love ran.

Casey must have sensed my despair, for his plead of "Don't cry, Chrissy" is weak. I give him a weak smile, leaning into his gentle hand. "Please. . ."

I gaze at him, his dark, soft hair, his still-bright sapphire eyes. "I don't know how to let you go. I love you too much to do that," I admit in a strained whisper. "I just don't see how this happened, why it had to be you, why it had to be now…"

"Oh, quit that," Casey says, his voice stronger. "I don't know why this happened, don't know why it's so soon, hell, I don't know how it happened, not like my family has a history of it or anything, but I do know this." He lifts his head as I lower mine, giving me a scorching kiss before letting his lips linger on mine. "I love you, and it's better me than you."

"No, it's not. You have no reason to die! You're so young, so, so…" I break out into sobs trying to tell him all of the reasons he couldn't leave me. He's only twenty-two, for crying out loud!

"There, there. Shh, honey, shh," he soothes me, putting a hand on either of my cheeks. He grabs me suddenly, pulling me down onto the small bed with him. I curl up into a ball, my head lying on his chest as he wrapps his arms around me. He continues to soothe me, murmuring "I love you" every couple of minutes. I giggle hysterically for a few short seconds at the irony of the situation—here I was, being comforted by my husband with cancer; it should have been the other way around.

After a couple of almost-blissful hours of this, I feel his arms grow steadily weaker and look up at his face. It is contorted in pain, tears leaking out from beneath his closed lids. "No!" I whisper. "No, no, no! Not now! Casey, Casey, no!"

"Chrissy," he gasps in pain. "I'm not leaving you, not truly. Find love again; he will lessen your pain and replace me. I'm not leaving you, sweetie, not for good," he repeats.

"I love you," I choke out. "I love you so much."

"I love you, too," he whispers, so quietly I had to strain my ears to hear it. The famous last words had been spoken. His arms tighten around me for a second before going slack as he quit fighting the death that came for him, as the light that was his soul vanished. I slide my arms underneath his back with little difficulty, gripping his frail body to me as tightly as is possible.

"No, no, no. I love you," I mumble, my vision blurry with tears and my voice choked. I don't know how long I stayed like that before a nurse came in and watched me, her own eyes glistening with tears. An hour, perhaps longer, passes with us like that, my husband's body clutched to mine, tears running down my face in a steady stream, the nurse trying to hold her tears back but failing.

"You two were so beautiful, your love so flawless… I can't bear it to watch him like this," she murmurs to me, stroking my hair. This only makes me sob harder, choke harder on my own tears, as I look up at her.

I leave his bedside after about three more hours, being forced by the doctors. My vision is still blurry, my thoughts still incoherent, as I let my hand linger in his chilly one for longer than necessary.

I don't remember the drive home. All I could see was his face, laughing as he tickled me, crying as he found his only aunt dead in her bed, glowing with happiness as I accepted his proposal to marrying him. All I could hear was his voice, reassuring me, whispering my name, singing to me. All I could think about was him.

This is probably the reason I don't hear my phone ringing, blaring out "Dead!" by My Chemical Romance as my sister calls me. For this reason, I step into my house in an almost drunken state, closing and locking the door behind me with shaking fingers, not noticing the house is pitch black and eerily silent. Stumbling my way up to my large—now empty—master bedroom, I collapse onto the big, fluffy bed, neither seeing nor feeling the bright sticky note on my pillow, passing out before another tear can make its way down my face.


One Week Later

The funeral was today. Even pale, still, and dead he looked beautiful. His chocolate hair partly covered his left eye, his eyelids closed. He was wearing his second-best and second-favorite pair of jeans, along with a nice silk black t-shirt that I got him for this purpose, when we first found out he had cancer. His favorite pair of tennis shoes were on his feet, his hands folded across his stomach. Everyone there that looked nice paled greatly in comparison to him.

I cried silently throughout most of the service, blocking everyone else out until it was my turn to say a last goodbye.

"Casey was everything I could have asked for. A caring friend at first, devoted lover next, indescribably amazing husband last, but throughout everything, my best friend, my anchor to this world. I cannot live fully without him. I will not live fully without him. My unborn child will never know their father; the cruelness of that is unforgivable. Casey chose me, by some miracle, and made my life complete. I could do anything as long as he was by my side, reassuring me or holding me. I could go on for hours, days, months, years even, about how much he meant to me and everyone else, but I will settle for this: Casey Martin, you meant more to me than everything else, more than my own life. I love you." I ended my speech with those words, the words that meant nothing compared to what we felt for each other, but still meant more than anything as long as they were true.

I now sit in my house, on my brown leather couch. I have an untouched meal before me. I know I should eat, for the baby if nothing else, but I can't bring myself to do it. Everything I do reminds me of him. I can't go to work. I can't drive. I can't do anything, only feeling misery and emptiness. I wonder, what does this world hold for me? My child; that is the only thing.


Two Months Later

My baby, my precious little human, has died before I even gave birth to him. That's right; it was a boy. His name was to be Casey Alexander Martin, the same as his father's. He would have liked that. Both of them would have.

I look at myself in the mirror and am repulsed by what stares back at me. Lifeless brown eyes, stringy, dull dark brown hair, pale skin, bags under the eyes, too-big clothes for the sickly thin body. I pick up my wrist, examining it. The smooth, pale skin there is without marks, something I had prided myself on for years and years. A dark thought enters my mind. I push it away at first, then welcome it. It is the thought of death. The blackness, the possibility of seeing my love again, of seeing my baby, of no longer existing in this cruel world… All of these things are welcomed, caressing me.

I start to grin wickedly before turning on the faucet in the huge, round tub, making sure the water is hot. I walk quietly down the steps into the large—strangely empty—kitchen, grabbing the first sharp knife I see.

I run up the steps, eager now to get on with my plan. I bolt into my room, stripping once I get through the doorway. I take a blue shirt that matched Casey's eyes, one of his sweatshirts out of the dresser next to the bed, and a pair of comfortable black sweatpants, and yank the clothes on. My bare feet are cold, but that won't matter for long.

Jogging to the bathroom, I step into the now overflowing bathtub, filled almost to the top with scalding water. The knife is in my hand the entire time. I turn off the faucet, wanting what I was about to do to be as memorable for other people as possible. Settling into the water, I ignore the fact that I am getting burned, bringing the sharp blade down to my wrist without a second thought, making a long, deep line on my forearm, then making another identical one to cross it, to form an X. The pain is sharp, nearly unbearable, but I deal with it. The thick crimson liquid spills out from my arms, staining the water a light, almost baby pink. Moving onto my other wrist I do the same, adjusting to, and enjoying, the pain. The water is a light red by now, getting darker by the second. As a last minute thought I run my right index finger in blood and on the mirror behind me write "I'll love you forever" in red lettering.

This message is meant for everyone—Casey, my baby, my family, and friends. I loved them, but the first two things are what wait for me in another place, wherever that might be. I realize that it is a cruel thing to do, leave a message such as this, and sadistic as well; but I just can't leave without some form of a last goodbye. It would seem. . . wrong, to depart without one.

I am lightheaded, but no longer in pain. I trace my wedding and engagement ring lightly, running my unsteady fingers along each as I bleed. This is it. I am carrying out with my master plan. The world no longer holds any value for me. It is just a cruel place. I make another deep, shaky cut in the palm of my left hand, letting the blood trickle over the silver and gold bands of my rings.

The pain is sweet now. I feel the darkness creep up on me before enveloping me, welcoming me in its arms. I close my eyes, gripping the knife's blade in my right hand so that it cuts into my palm even more. Within a mere minute I am leaving this world, allowing the darkness to take control of me and take me away.

I die with a smile on my face.

A/N: This was one of the first darker pieces I had written a while ago. It was an idea that just popped into my head, and I decided to write it down. And hey, look—I edited it, finally.