I couldn’t

I have said once before that I was not a man of love. Well, I was wrong. Love can be such an undeniable fact but on the same note a mystery. Like cancer, it can and will eat its way through your heart like a worm in an apple, but in different circumstances, it can push you down to your knees with unconditional joy. I will not say I understand it in the least, I get it, I guess.

Her feet slowly descend, but once they touch the cold floor she hurries to me. With lips still blue she places my broken head on her lap.  Her hands slip as they examine my face. A tear breaks free and lands on my cheek. A surge of pain courses over everything, the world becomes less solid. I focus on my mouth, I try to move my jaw but it pops. My mouth starts to fill with the taste of pennies.  She uses what little strength she had left to help me to the bed. I feel confused and frustrated. Her feet make a pattering sound on the hardwood as she goes for the first aid kit in the bathroom. I exhale through my nose and my pants are soon covered with red spots.

The alcohol burns something wonderful as the cotton comes in white and leaves pink. We barely exchange words, as they seemed hard for me to come by. She dabs and swipes, trying her best to mend this busted facade. I tried to clear my thoughts to focus on what happened and why. Her brown eyes almost burn into a yellow as she stares at me. I begin to lose myself in them; I try not dive in, to bury myself behind their love. The alcohol burns again and I pick my head up. It felt as if my thoughts were wandering aimlessly, not one could be saved. They would soon appear and then within the nearly immeasurable time they would disappear into the ether.

Hour passes and the fog clears, I open and close my mouth, each time it gives off a click than a pop. The kettle whistles in the kitchen, though it sounded as if it was going off in my head. She hands me some jasmine tea, the honey feels wonderful on my throat. “What the heck happened?” she asks while quickly taking a sip of her tea. “I am not sure; he was over you, I panicked…” I pause to let the embarrassment wash over but she continues for me. “I had an attack, he saved me or you saved me.  Gosh, I don’t understand…” she takes another nervous drink, I do too. I really didn’t understand myself. I place each event in little boxes and arrange them in my head. The line, over time, becomes clear. I set the tea down and walk into our room. She follows right behind me. It lies on the nightstand; the steel gives a small glow from the ambient light. It’s cool to the touch, I feel an ease wash over me with its familiar touch. I turn to her, with a kiss on the cheek and a pull, her and the room disappears in front of me.

The living room is warm from the morning sun leaking in from the windows. I quietly move my way to our bedroom. I place my ear to the door, all is silent. Without a sound, I move to her purse that sits next to the door. I undo the zipper slowly, it looks as if I was defusing a bomb. I reach into her purse. That’s when as if by bad luck all the contents inside work together to make as much noise as possible. I move my hand faster, searching hard when I find it in a notch on the side. I have it in my palm when the memory of this flashes back. I pause; I could barely hear him pull the hammer back. I’m glad that I ask first before shooting. I turn and stare myself in the eyes “Shit- this isn’t supposed to happen.” I said as he lowers the pistol. While exhaling slowly there’s movement behind him and he turns. The moment opens and I take it.

The room is dark; it takes some time for my eyes to adjust. I hear her trying to pull air in. To take, but it does not give. I take her hand, the hand with the cast fumbles with the inhaler in my pocket.  My index and middle finger form a clamp and I pull it out. I shift it to my good hand and place it against her lips; I can feel a slight pull as I push the plunger down. Her lungs rise, as the other, me wakes. I hear the pistol fall in between the bed and wall. He swings for me with his right, letting go of the inhaler I catch it before it hits me. His momentum carries him off the bed. I try to find the inhaler in the blankets. I hear him stand, I try to yell at him, but it comes out as a moan and a sigh. He swings at me, I narrowly duck missing the blow. My fingers touch the smooth plastic of the inhaler. I grasp it, as he takes hold of me. Wrapping his arms and legs around me, her chest moves up and down rapidly as I struggle with him. I use my elbow to strike him over and over until his grip loosens. I am not sure what took over me, but he lies on the floor as my boot flies towards his face, my face. I pull the kick but the force was already applied, I hear something pop, and he’s out. I push the inhaler to her lips and push down again. The airways open, trafficking of air granted. Her lungs pull and gasp. I kiss her on the forehead and hide in the spare room.

I listen to the pattering, the moving, the talking, and the burning of alcohol. I want to step out, tell them everything. To avoid this, but my feet stick to the floor as if nailed there. I just couldn’t, I just couldn’t move. A drink crosses my mind as I hear the kettle whistle.  I set myself in the patched up desk she uses for sewing. Some minutes pass and I hear her cry. I gently set myself next to her on the bed. She folds her arms around me, making my shoulder wet.