Destiny

The love worth having is forever.

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1. How to Save a Life

 

It was the first day of spring. The daffodils he planted last year would bloom soon. Dave sat in his garden holding a pen and paper, soaking up the fresh bright sunlight. The smell of moss and tree bark invaded his senses. It was his first venture outside in a month. How he missed the bleating of sheep in the neighbouring field, the cherry blossom blooming dazzling pinks and the dewy morning grass that shone with silver specks reflecting the sun’s light. His mother and friends would be overjoyed if they could see him, enjoying something for the first time in a month. Unfortunately, he had something important to do. Something it had taken weeks to even think about, let alone write about. The plan was to be surrounded by joy while writing. Maybe that would help him get through it and actually finish it this time. He took a deep calming breath and started.

 

Dear Sam,

I still can’t fathom why you chose me. There were tons of guys lining up at your doorstep for you but you chose me. For that decision, I am thankful to you every day. We did not get to spend forever holding each other like I had planned but I believe our fate was predetermined. I am just glad we savoured every moment we had together. I love you so much I would pluck every star from heaven and give them to you if you wanted.

 

He stopped writing and took a breather. Tears were threatening their early arrival but he wiped a rough hand over his eyes, willing them to wait. He wasn't calm and for this, he needed to be calm. A memory of a memory niggled in his mind. He could see it quite clearly so he shut his eyes.

There she was, the most beautiful girl in any room. She made him want to give up everything for her. They were both sitting at the bar at a rather boisterous wedding party.

‘Hello. I’m Dave.’ He wouldn’t have had the courage to speak to her had it not been for the whiskey that simmered in his veins. She looked at him, startled then smiled widely. It was the best thing he had ever seen.

‘Samantha Drew, sister of the groom. You can call me Sam.’ She shook his hand and turned to face him. He thought there was an air of mystery about her.

‘Friend of the bride.’ He motioned to himself.

‘So Dave, what do you do?’ She asked sardonically, as if this question was expected of her.

‘I’m an accountant for a computer firm in the city. What about you, Ms Drew? Still out solving crimes?’ He chuckled at his weak joke but she laughed back. It was a light, tinkling sound. She reminded him of Tinkerbell.

‘No, gave that up years ago! Health benefits weren’t nearly good enough. I’m a veterinary nurse, and part time bartender.’ She said.

They continued talking well into the evening, both engrossed in the other’s company. By this time, Dave was quite intoxicated with shots she had ordered him while she herself got slashed on wine.

He looked at her meaningfully while she drained her glass.

‘You know, I’d do anything for you. If you asked me to get every God-damned star out that God-damned sky and put them in your hand, I’d do it. Because you asked me.’ They shared a look. He raised his eyebrows to the music but she looked at him, she bit her lip and moved forward in a flash. Within five minutes they were slotting the card into her hotel room, clothes half off.

 

Your love was all that ever mattered to me. You are gone and there is nothing I can do to change that. I have spent so many nights, staring at your side of the bed and wishing he had taken me instead. It would have been easier. It was my fault anyway. I hope you can forgive me at some stage and we can be together again someday. I shouldn’t have even talked to you at that wedding. It could have saved everyone the pain of losing you. I’d rather you were still alive and I had no clue of the love we shared than the feelings that consume me now. Grief, anguish, sorrow and guilt to name a few. I can’t express the feelings in my head or heart now that you’re gone. You were my everything, my sole purpose. Life with you was full of twists and turns but that’s why I loved it.

 

An awful smell filled his nostrils as soon as he put the key in the door. Oh no, Sam was cooking for him again. He rolled his eyes and his stomach groaned in agreement.

‘What is it this time?’ He called out to her, putting his rain coat under the stairs.

‘Casserole! The beefy kind, cause you’re such a beefcake.’ She laughed and kissed him lightly on the lips. As usual, she was covered head to toe in the contents of the kitchen press. He picked out one of the larger pieces of pepper from her hair. She looked back at the meal and sighed in defeat.

‘Chinese or Indian?’ She asked with a sly smile, wielding her wooden spoon like a battle axe.

‘Chinese. What do you want?’ He asked, preparing to head out again.

‘Wait!’ she called him back, ‘What say you and I make a little wager Mr Bond?’ She said in her posh voice. He was intrigued now.

‘We both try a bit of this lovely meal I made us and whoever gags first gets their face drawn on!’ She clapped her hands in excitement, her red curls bounced up and down as if they were laughing with her.

‘You’re on.’ He laughed, confident he could stomach one bite at least.

Twenty minutes later, Dave was ordering Chinese food with cat whiskers, a curling mustache, glasses and a lightening scar.

 

I would pay Hades with my soul if I knew it would bring you back. I’m sorry it was you and not me. I’m sorry we had that fight before you left. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to save you. What does my world revolve around now that your light has been snuffed out?

The Doctors said you died instantly, suffered no pain. I couldn’t handle it if you suffered for even a second. Everything just makes me so angry. For a while afterward, I couldn’t stop breaking things. I broke that hula lamp you liked because it reminded me of you. I’m in a better place now than I was, I think you’ll be glad to know that at least. Not a day goes by when I don’t replay everything in my mind though. I wasn’t there but I can picture it clear as day. You storm out of the apartment after an argument with me about inviting your mother to our wedding. You don’t want her there. All you have is your phone and it’s raining pretty hard but you’re too stubborn to go back inside so you wander around aimlessly for a while. I ring you and ask you to come back. We argue more. I told you that you were over reacting but you told me I hadn’t a flaming clue. That was when it happened, when you supposedly felt nothing. I heard tyres screech on the phone and car doors slam but I didn’t hear your voice no matter how many times I called.

I can’t talk about afterwards. It’s too painful. The reason I am writing this letter now is because today is the day we were supposed to say I do. Today was meant to be the first day of the rest of our lives.

I didn’t know how to save your life. I’ll live with that for the rest of my life.

Sometimes I feel like my whole life was just building up to the day I met you. All those other girls, those crushes and flings, they were just the test drive before the real thing.

Samantha Drew, I loved you before I even met you. I love you now until my last breath. Until the day I die, my heart is yours.

Now and forever,

Your almost-husband, best friend for life, cootie- sharing man friend,

Dave.

 

With a heavy heart he put the shaking pen down and sealed his letter away in an envelope. It felt like he was sealing away his life from before and saying good bye to it but that wasn't what he wanted. He wanted Sam to be a part of him forever. You only get one soul mate in life, one person whose soul is the key to yours. His memories of her would keep her alive. He remembered something she used to say to him with a smile.

‘You could have talked to any girl at the wedding Dave, any girl. Yet you chose me. That’s fate right there. Our lives were entwined before we even met. You are my destiny Dave, and I’m yours.’

The tall hill usually seemed a daunting task but today, he relished the walk. The fresh air whipped his face and cooled his lungs. Goosebumps dotted his skin but he made no attempt to cover up more. There she was, under the willow tree. It was the best view, she could see all over their town. He knelt down at the foot of her grave, feeling like crying but for once his tears wouldn’t come. He felt as if she were whispering to him, ‘Not here. I don’t want you to cry over my body like I don’t exist anymore.’

She was so wrong, she was all that existed. In an upside down world, she was the only thing that appeared right side up. There was fresh flowers left there, daisies which she loved. He buried the letter under a layer of stones. It was theirs and no one else’s to read.

 

Propping himself up with a heavy sigh, he leant one hand on the grey marble headstone. He felt something brush his neck and shivered involuntarily. It was probably just the wind. Walking down the hill again, he felt lighter than ever. The letter had freed him, in part, letting go of a ghost. He felt like he had her blessing to move on with his life. In a way, he thought, she figured out what he could never do. How to save his life. He pulled his hat down far over his ears to protect them from the wind but he heard it anyway.

‘Now and forever, always and absolutely. I love you.’

 

 

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