He paused amidst the howling wind that swirled around him. Slowing his haste to a standstill.
His scarf had been torn, it seemed, exposing the bare skin that began to scream with annoyance. Gently, he did what he could with the torn fabric, intertwining it into a knot that would not leave his neck this time. He couldnt help but let out a sigh of exhaustion as he started up the hill top once more.
To his surprise, his mind was active to the point of insanity. His body had been begging him to seize his journey, crying with every footprint that made its way into the snow pack. Yet he couldnt help but letting his conscious slip into a void of the past.
Even in his distorted memory, she was still as beautiful as the heavens. Comparable only to such a glorious place, in a reality not like this one. Her eyes still glistened. Just as the sun creates masterpieces upon the flowing river.
A laugh that hadnt rattled his chest in ages, soon overtook the monster that was the howl around him, shooting him back to the present, revealing the pain that had subsided from him just a moment before. Yet there was no one around. Only his mind. Was he losing the one thing left that hadnt frozen over?
He had lost feeling in his feet a while back, long before the ascent upon the mountain side. Somewhere deep within the valley that had punished him with rain in the shape of icicles. Slowly, his fingers began to follow suite. Cracking with any attempt to release the blood that had been fighting to take back hold of the lifeless limbs. Only to send a reminder of pain back to his weakened body. He was miserable.
It was never supposed to be this way. He was never supposed to be on this journey. Yet life is full of surprises. At least that what she would say.
Pushing the pain aside the best he could, he let his mind slip once again. Delighted to have a release into a place more comfortable than this. Willing to be along for a ride that he was not in control of.
He held her with intent to never let go, playfully squeezing her until she bit him. Laughing as she did so. Before he eased up, she grabbed him and pulled him in tighter, not wanting him to leave the comfort of there makeshift bed in front of the window. Without hesitation, he gladly didnt move another inch.
As the snow fell unto the pine trees outside, the warmth of her and the small cabin reached into his soul, releasing a feeling of complete content. They had been there all morning, watching the soft snow create a landscape of pure bliss. She had made hot cocoa that he now sipped on. Even though it came from a packet, it was still the best he had ever had. Made from love and a questionable amount of marshmallows. Knowing that he enjoyed the little white dots the most. He slurped loudy, breaking the silence they were sharing, only stopping when she nudged him in a slight annoyance. As such, he continued, smiling the entire time.
She kissed him. And his heart shattered.
He screamed a terrible scream into the void of the storm, cursing at the entire world. Cursing at anything that had reminded him of her.
His knees suddenly buckled, sending him to the soft blanket of snow beneath him. Yet he did not fight back. He let himself fall without a hint of resistance, letting his body slump atop his lifeless legs. Needles shot through his bare skin around his face, as he placed his hands on his eyes, not wanting to let the universe see his tears that now flowed like a raging river. He wanted to scream again, wanted to let his anger be released back into the void. But nothing came out. Nothing to show his contempt for the situation.
The tears began to solidify against his cheeks, freezing as they touched the bitter cold. But he could not stop the flow of saddness. It was only till his sight began to turn black, that he stopped. From the corners of his mind, the entire world began to disperse from his conscious. Another memory had come in this split second. For a moment, he had hoped that it would be his last.
The hospital room was colder than usual today, he thought to himself. He didnt mind, although, she had begun to shiver more than what was expected. Gently, he placed his worn down jacket onto her, making sure not to put any pressure on her weakened body. The golden skin that had once softened his dried body, was now as grey as the sky outside the cold room. Her strength was all but gone, as he grabbed for her hand that hung lifelessly off the small bed, having to do his best not to squeeze to hard. To his suprise, she returned the gesture, desperatly holding on with whatever she had left. He held back tears that had began to form in the corners of his tired eyes. She must have sensed this, for she opened hers to meet his.
Her eyes still did something to his soul that he would never be able to understand. They cut through him with pure joy, making any struggle in life bearable. He had always told her that he didnt care for an afterlife; his heaven was already in those hazel eyes. Even in that bed, with monitors beeping and nurses scuttling around in the halls, she still had his heart for eternity. Still had the beauty that had captivated him for years. The only thing missing was her flowing hair that she had worked so hard to keep. Only to be taken away by the disease that had put her on the bed of death. Yet, even without it, she still the look of an ancient god. A god of love and grace.
For a long moment, they simply sat there silently. Both contemplating the fate that had brought them here. He hadnt noticed, but her grip was slowly slipping from his. Only his strength holding her hand close to his. A panic soon took over him, breaking the damn that held back the tears, until they flowed freely down his dried cheeks. Quickly he stood, her hand still in his, as the machines began to scream. Beeping rapidly and out of sync. In turn, he screamed for someone to help. Although somewhere deep inside him, he knew what was happening.
In that split second, he leaned over her, begging her not to leave. Pleading for just another moment to be with her. Another moment to hold her. To kiss her. He had begun sobbing, letting nothing hold back his sadness. Leaning closer, he whispered a soft prayer, and gave her one last kiss. His tears giving moisture to her dried lips.
He snapped out of the memory once again. Being brought back to the mountain side and the hand of winter. This time a scream did leave his frozen lungs. It crackled through the storm with fright. Pure anger. He hadnt noticed the snow accumulating around him, nearly covering his entire body. With all of his remaining strength he stood back up. His muscles cursing him in disgust as he did so.
The next few hours became a blur to him. An unknown will pushing him to reach the destination he knew was close.
Finally, as he looked down upon the journey he had just endured, a sigh of relief calmed his aching body. A beautiful ending to a hellish path. Yet the pain was still there, as he took off his back pack and reached for a vase that had frost covering it. An elegant container, was painted with a hundred tiny tulips, her favorite flower. He did his best to control the shaking that had taken over his body, as he pulled out the white and yellow urn. Staring at with sorrow.
He did not want to open it, but knew that this moment would come, and had to be done. Its what she would have wanted. Although she would have cursed for taking this journey, one that had death nipping at his heels. Even in death, he knew he would be annoying her. Tempting her to give him the sly grin that shot him down.
With his body broken, and his heart in shatters, he placed the vase on top of the rocks he had assembled to hold her there for all of eternity. She would have enjoyed the view. Would have liked the silence that accompanied the quiet mountain top.
He kneeled next to her, letting a sudden and comforting warmth over take him. To his surprise, he smiled, as darkness overtook him. Before his soul left him, he placed his hand on her. “I will always love you. In this life. And the next. This I swear.”