The gulf was endless now, a void that was an unbreachable chasm between two people who had once been everything to each other. She stared at him, this man she’d loved with more than emotions, or her body; she’d lived for him with her soul, and he’d become a stranger. She no longer recognized the expression that dominated his azure eyes, and the curve of his mouth hadn’t been a genuine smile for much too long -- more a curl of disdain and ill-concealed contempt. Yet, he still refused to speak the words that would end it. Instead, he avoided her; her warmth... her unshakable loyalty... and her incredible capacity to love him without limit...
It was a whisper, a stirring in the air. She knew he heard, but again, there was no acknowledgement. Anger breathed to life within her, and she took a step toward him. When she stood before him, motionless, expectant, his eyes finally rose to meet hers.
“I’ve told you that I will leave,” she reminded him. “I’ve offered you the freedom you wish. What more do you want of me?”
“You chose this, my love.”
She shivered at the sound of his voice, soft and resonant with feelings she’d never heard before. His pain washed over her, and his sense of loss, his confusion.
“I would never choose to leave you,” she murmured fiercely. “You have spent our life together teaching me how little I mean to you. You’ve raped my spirit, taken every possible gift that I possessed when it was already yours, and you discarded me repeatedly when something else appealed to your vanity more than I did. How can I have chosen to leave you, when you are the only thing I deemed important in my life? You were my life!”
“And what am I now?” he wondered, silken voice a caress of veiled entreaty and natural seduction.
“My past,” she whispered hoarsely. Blood-stained tears spilled from her eyes as she knelt and looked up at him. She clasped her hands in her lap as she sat back on her heels and permitted her heart to break into a million shards of flawed crystal. She had to forcefully deny her desire to touch him. If she gave in to the need to feel his skin beneath her fingertips, she would never be able to walk away. His insecurity had enslaved her in ways nothing else could have, it was something few others had ever understood about the ancient vampire. His passion had completed her downfall. “You are the destiny that destroyed me, even as you gave me my purpose.”
“I don’t want you to walk away, not from me,” he confessed. His reluctance to accept the admission was clear in the soft words.
“It’s far too late. There is nothing left, you’ve allowed it to be taken from us.”
After a lengthy pause, he smiled. “You can’t leave,” he intoned smugly, still arrogant in his power over her.
“I can,” she denied with unmistakable sorrow. “Because there is no other choice. You’ve left none.”
“You belong to me, pet.”
“I will always belong to you, my beloved master,” she acquiesced with a small smile. “But I no longer belong with you.”
He laughed, the sound bitter but resigned.
She rose, walked to the door, and opened it. The night air was icy, fresh snow covered the ground with pristine purity, the illusion of newness ironically appropriate. The door closed soundlessly, and she walked away from the elegant estate. She refused to look back, even a single glance would have shattered her resolve and sent her to his side.
The cold night embraced her, and she continued to move into the darkness, into the abyss that would define her existence now that he no longer shone at the centre of her world...
Tears blurred her vision, and the thought came, unbidden: After everything they’d shared, he hadn’t even felt her worthy of “Good-bye.”
Alone with his sorrow, he wondered why he had ever thought himself worthy of her love, her endless devotion… and why he had never been able to tell her that she was all that gave him life…
© 2009 Denysé Bridger
Photo © 2009 Mariagrazia Germanà
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED