I don't think I've ever felt so warm"
I could still remember the exact moment this photo was taken. She walked down the stairs, long, winding, splashed with the colour of dark cherry oak. I told her to pause as I slipped the camera from my messenger bag and snapped a photo of her, the one I held in my hands. Her sun dress looked like strips of white flame, flowing and breathing against her mocha skin. The spiraling curls of her bangs, hanging lonely, cupped her face and dangled just above her shoulders. One look into her eyes and I was able to find what I was looking for, what she was saying, and even what she wanted to say. The dark iris cradled her pupil translucently, they blended into one. I could stare into her eyes for hours and see a new word in this swirling almost black abyss. Her eyes would sometimes sparkle as she parted her lips and smiled, or even laughed, making the darks of her eyes almost look like an aureole. She was an angel, my angel. Even in this photograph I held in my hands she could still capture she me, hold me with intrigue, and possibly still love.
And I watched as the 4 corners gave way to the ice,
and the life, and the death, and the warmth,
And they were all joined together."
I wondered why I still carried around this photograph, or why I ever had it. Maybe as a reminder of that smile, or those lively eyes; how it could be all gone with one stupid choice, or one blind love. I remember the day she called me and told me about him. She had met him at a book store, they were both reaching for a copy of "Dorian Grey" blindly and oblivious to one another until their hands bumped into each other. I have never wished more that I could go back in time. Pick up that book for her, put another copy there, anything, I would have done anything. I didn't think someone with a face so bright could have a fate so cruel, so I didn't go, I didn't pick the book up for her, and I didn't do anything. They went out on dates, more and more, she stopped calling. I would get an email every now and then. Four years of friendship, I could see the sun, moon, and stars in her eyes and I received an email every month to let me know how things were going now. I tried to call, I left messages, and I even try to write back. Nothingness was all I was given in return; an empty answering machine, a blank computer screen, and a silent apartment. One day she called and said he had mentioned the three of us having dinner. I scrambled to accept the invitation; thoughts of seeing her filling my head almost immediately.
But I didn't want to remember what it felt like to be alive,
And still feel so cold."
I remember walking into what was now "their" house. I became dizzy at the sight of her; warmth rushing through my veins and splashing against my heart, breaking and bruising any rational thought that was left. In the 6 months I hadn't seen her she had changed so much. Her hair was shorter; it framed her dark face, and curled just under her chin. Her eyes were darker than I ever remembered, and it wasn't deeper, fuller, or even older. They were dead... she was dead. Dead already and gun hadn't even been pressed to her head yet. She hadn't fought for her last breath, spoken her final departing words, or bowed after the closing act. She had no idea, but I did. This wasn't love, this wasn't even friendship. I could read each underlying motive as he placed his arm around her shoulder and pulled her so close and held her so tight I thought she might break and crumble underneath him. She stopped looking me in the eyes after he did that. She was so far gone that even I couldn't reach her. My best friend, the woman I truly loved has slipped off my heart and I couldn't pull her back in, no life line could be long enough. Everything I loved about her that smile, those eyes, the way she dominated a room and made it shine, it was all gone. She was lifeless. I wondered what sort of punishment this was. Why didn't this man take me instead? Why didn't he take someone who was already dead, someone who wanted to die? Why did he step on a daisy instead of drowning an already wilted rose? The questions from that moment still live within me. Especially at times like these, when I cling to nothing but a photograph that captures everything she was, and would never fully blossom to be.
You don't know how scared I was
Of what I knew."
I just left after that. It was the last time I saw her and I try not to remember her that way. I want to remember this photo, not that haunting last goodbye. I gave her a hug before I left, it was a weak embrace, and I knew why when I saw him looking through the blinds out the window... smoking his cigarette, acting completely calm; he knew, he knew he had her. I didn't call anymore, I never checked my email, and I avoided being any place I knew they would be. She was no longer mine, and she was no longer hers. I remember her eyes, almost pleading with me as I turned around to look at her before I got into my car. I had done all I could, and she knew that just as well. They got married. Her funeral was 4 months later.
Were these words not spoken?
Out of fear of the law
Or self sacrifice?"
I try to not remember that; the closed casket, the tears, the reports in the newspapers. I even try to forget the example made out of her for a couple of "domestic violence" seminars. I just remember this picture that I carry with me. The way she ran to hug me after I took it, the feeling of her lips; soft against my cheek, and the scent of her, almost like spring captured in a fragrance. As the frayed, torn, and aged pictured serves for strength, it also reminds me to never let anyone close enough to spin their sticky web around you. If she had a photograph like this, would I be able to hold her now? Some people are meant to present a purpose, and I think she was banished for an example. I think God has a great sense of humour. I must have laughed about it a couple of times. How could I have been so fucking stupid? Somewhere between that thought and the end, I lost the punch line. I remember wanting to bow a couple of times and watch the curtains close in front of me. I knew though that I couldn't, I had to finish out the final act for both of us. She would be my sole motivation, director, producer and audience. I was her actor, her unfinished life was my stage, and this photo of her would serve as my script.
When you came back.
In a room filled with nothing,
This table looked away from me.
A kick to your foot and a twist of your head
And I saw that you were afraid."
Lyrics: Crayon and Ink by Allison Crowe</align>