September 1, 2017 by Patrick Starks
Love never knew that she was sick. Every day as I watched her come back from work, I could tell that a piece of her was missing—that the parasite would not only control her mind, but her body. But it wasn’t her fault—why she lost control—the parasite became stronger as the days went on, feeding off whatever negative emotions came from her fears, or others.
It was sad, I tried everything I could to rid her of the toxicity that coursed through her veins, and yet, I was always defeated, sometimes in ways where the parasite would almost get to my mind as well. However, I was more one myself than the others around me, I had control—I had my meditation.
“I hate these fucking celebrities, they all think there better than everyone, especially those fucking Kardashians,” said Love. And Love would continue to rant on about what she hated, and as her husband, I would listen—as a good husband should.
The force is strong in this one, I grinned—referencing my favorite Star Wars quote. Although, it wasn’t at all funny, love was completely lost. The sunshine I married, would now become dim. Love and I would then sit on our dog hair infested couch, wondering what it would be like to win the lottery. And as intrigued she was, I thought nothing of it, I felt they were false promises—another parasite to make our society angry, envy, and hate one another. Mom always said money was the root of all evil, but I’d find out soon that that was only a fraction of it.
Love needed some milk and eggs for cake that night, it was our little girl’s birthday the next day, and she wanted to have it ready. Just seeing her and little Athens play was something a husband, a father, would call magical. As much as the parasite had a hold on Love, our daughter Athens would always find a way to keep her grounded.
When I got back with the ingredients, Love would get started right away. She was the best at what she did, I felt—she was a natural chef. And yet, this too was sad, for that I knew that was always her dream. We both had dreams, but it would seem the parasite would get a hold of our minds, making stronger all insecurities we had of ourselves. Mine wasn’t that bad, even though I was working as a manager for a shitty retail store, I still managed to find time to do what I loved—to write, in which I am doing now.
But Love, it would seem the only time she got to do what she loved was when she was cooking for us, I’d begin to realize that this was her meditation, what calmed her, but somehow it was never enough. She would sometimes come home in tears, talking about how rude her manager was, how she was micromanaged all day, and when she took the bus back home—how the homeless men and drug dealers would say things to her that depicted her of a whore, and she was nowhere near the depiction—she was angel, my angel.
I begged to the gods to let me get on that bus, just one time, and I swear I’d punch those guys teeth down their throats and out their asses. Luckily for them, the gods, my god, would never permit it—although, through time I didn’t give a shit—it was already enough to be judged by people, but to be judged by someone I never seen, well… that be another story to tell.
Love was in pain, she was hurting, I could tell she was at her breaking point, but never knew it would go this deep, until I got her letter. It was after Athens birthday, in which I felt was a fun day, and carefree one—I thought Love was happy. The letter said to meet at her job, I figured she wanted me to accompany her, to finally knockout the bastards on the bus she’d meet every day.
But no, this wasn’t at all why she wanted me there—although later I’d wish it was. As I approached her job, hundreds of people were swarmed around the building. It was as if I was walking onto a movie set, only I was unaware of my part. I jumped out of my car to see what all the fuss was about, more so where my wife was, but then a police officer with coffee in hand, revealed her whereabouts.
“Mam, you don’t have to do this, let’s just talk. If you come down now, we will help you with whatever you need help with,” the policeman said. He was definitely no batman or superman, I thought—his delivery was poor, anyone would’ve jumped by then. “I want to speak with my husband, where is my husband,” the woman said.
The voice I recognized immediately, and as I worked my way to the front of the crowd, their she was, my Love. We both locked eyes instantly, and she gave me a teary-eyed smile—I too became teary eyed, for that I didn’t understand—why she was up there—why she was ready to take her own life. I pleaded for her to come down, but she just shook her head, as she silently said I’m sorry.
“I can’t take it anymore honey, this life, the people who make it wicked, I don’t want to be in this hell anymore, I don’t want them to ever have control of me. I want to be free from this world, this parasite,” Love said, and I pleaded with her again, reminding her of Athens, and how much she would miss her mom, and Love would hesitantly shake her head once more. Explaining to me her reasoning, but I didn’t care about her reasons, some would call it selfish, but she was mine, she was a part of me—the one thing I’d been given that meant something. I felt if I lost her, I to would lose myself, only to repeat the same event she was presenting.
“Speak from the heart son, it’s the only way that woman is coming down. She really needs you, bring out that inner superhero, and save your Love,” the policeman said. I was a little thrown off, but understood that I needed to do something or my world would end, as well as Athens. And so, I dug deep, and thought of all we’ve been through, all we’ve lost—I would then speak from the heart, a poem I wrote for her on our wedding day, the same poem I would say to her when we had Athens, the same poem I felt could save her.
“I won’t call you beautiful, you’ve been told that many times. I won’t call you baby, because you deserve better, a word that depicts your shine. I won’t look away when you speak your mind, because your gaze is the sea, it is my sign. My ears are wide open, only for your voice, indeed it was my choice, and for that I must rejoice. Hearts beat faster when you walk in the room, I never knew I’d be standing here—you my bride and, I the groom. I’ll cook when you clean, or clean when you cook, and hold you tightly as we both read a Rowling’s book. I’ll let you win in chess with only a rook, because you are the queen, always victorious, no matter how it looks.”
Love then began to cry, harder than I had ever seen her do, telling me how much she loved me, and that she was sorry for ever trying to leave Athens and I alone—no wife, no mother. The crowd as well filled with tears, crying as she made her way down, back into my arms. And as lame as this story might sound to you, I don’t care—because I saved a life, and not just any—I saved Loves life.