Bob awoke atop a building that was being built. He looked around, startled, wrapping his legs tight around the steel beam. “How the fuck did I get up here?”
As he looked around, he noticed there was a rope that had been tied around the beam, the other end of it a noose, which was around his neck. Apparently, his parallel self, had wanted to make a grand gesture. The city sprawled out its magnificence that stretched for miles upon miles. He looked toward the direction where his home laid nestled beneath the trees, past the river.
Then he remembered. The visions of his family, dead, cold and lifeless. He brought his hand up, feeling the noose and some of the scars that were still manifesting, slowly. What reason did he have to exist anymore? If his family was gone, and he had exacted vengeance. Why stay in the world? He thought of perhaps letting the wraiths come and get him. Giving up. Calling it quits.
The thoughts then shifted to his family and friends. His old life. Good times. Better times. It was all behind him now. Slowly, he shifted his weight to the side and slid off the beam. He started to fall fast before the entire rope reached maximum tension, and his neck snapped like a twig. It would probably be one of his quickest deaths he had experienced. One of the smoothest. As he left this world…this universe, he watched his body sway in the wind, like a pendulum with no direction, no purpose. For there was no time that remained for him to tell.
Bob awoke again, this time at home, in his bed. He laid on his back and stared at the ceiling. Depression sat in, hurling him deeper into the abyss. He eventually sat up and planted his feet on the floor, and buried his head in his hands. He wept for a while and then autopilot just switched on. He wandered around the home that was nearly absent of life, save for him. The laughter of children, his children, and the sound of his wife calling out for everyone that it was dinner time. The sun peered through the kitchen, illuminating where they would all sit for their meals.
The emptiness within him grew even more.
Bob noticed a piece of paper sticking out of his wallet on the kitchen island. He reached for it and opened it up. Bob began reading it slowly. He sat on the floor, absorbing the words left by his late wife and wept.
After a while, Bob reached his feet and tucked the paper in his wallet and took it, with the keys. He went to the garage and took a rag, and stuck it in the gas cans and lit them. Bob backed the car out and sat in the street, watching the flames consume the garage, then the rest of the house. He closed his eyes and then set off for anywhere but here.
As Bob drove away, the house continued to burn. Flames took on the silhouettes of his wife and kids, seemingly waving goodbye and then vanished.
I want you to know that if I ever go before you, that if anything happens to me… I want you to know that I love you. I always have and no matter what, I always will. I will be with you, by your side. There is no person I could ever see myself with. I feel like we’ve always been together, and well, I think that even when it is our time, we will be together in death. At least, that’s a hope I’d like to have.
Whenever I look at our kids, I see us. I see the good of times, the worst of times, I see all that we’ve strived for, to be, what we are capable of. I know you have your good days and your bad days. I know you struggle with your emotions and are afraid to speak of them. To talk to me about the all the pain you go through. I know it’s difficult for you to open up, that you feel you must take on the burden of everyone’s weight, to be the hero.
Society warps our minds, programs us to be people we aren’t. That’s a shame. The stigma that one is weak to handle such burden, it cannot be done by yourself. You need not carry the weight alone. When we married, it was “in sickness and health,” through the good and the bad. You’re not alone, sweetheart.
I want you to know that I know things will be hard. You have to be strong, though. Not just for the kids, but for yourself, too. So don’t let the dark days take over. Remember that I love you as do the kids. And I guess your friends too, I suppose they can count.
I love you, always and forever.
For Episode 9 — Nothing to Lose [Part 1] Click here.
For Episode 9 — Nothing to Lose [Part 2] Click here.
For Episode 9 — Nothing to Lose [Part 3] Click here.