Pain of Loss

Snow crunched underfoot, each step slow and measured before advancing further. It had fallen heavily over the past month and a half and without the usual servants tending to the accumulation, it was layered thick upon the steps. A fitting visual for the mood of the man that climbed slowly.

A month a half since she had fled after he failed to arrive. He could not blame her, but the man never faded. It merely grew stronger with each passing day, a driving searing pain that was pushing his already strained mind further against its limitations. Biting back a fresh surge of suffering, he fumbled for the keys in his jacket.

Hands which once were certain in all actions, now trembled as he inserted the key into the lock. Opening it by magic as he usually would have done was something he was fighting these days. Too long had he taken the easy way through life, when had he slowed and enjoyed the little things? Perhaps if he had, he could have seen the fear coiled about his heart as a serpent would be about a hare.

A creak and the door opened. Gusts of air scattered snow about the carpets within, yet he barely noticed. His gaze instead went straight to the ring sitting upon the note on the table, exactly where he had seen it last. Leaving the door open, Va’lis stepped forward into the past.

Happier times assaulted him instantly with each room he entered. Her face upon seeing their homes completion of course was the living room. The basement, watching her paint and enjoying the look of concentration that came over her face. The guest room showed how she worried over Carrie, overprotective as always. The future childrens rooms, the long talks of the future they wanted. How they would both give up anything to make it a reality. Each step was torture, torture he took gladly for he deserved it.

spilledbottleThe only room he left unlooked upon, was their bedroom. Those doors remained sealed and he had no desire to feel the burning that would come with seeing her face everywhere within there. Instead, he busied himself in the downstairs bar. Drinking bottle after bottle in an attempt to leave everything behind.

An hour, a day or was it an age later, he felt the prescense of another behind him. Turning, a bottle falling and shattering upon the floor as he did, his gaze came upon his youngest childe. One who had seen his fall from lofty heights already at such a young age. Carrie.

A mess he looked as their eyes locked. Once his appearance was everything to him, now there was nothing but misery. Clothes tattered and stained with blood. Hair, dishelved and matted… Gone was Va’lis Razele, in his place sat one who had stared into the face of his terrors and fled rather than face it head on.

No words were spoken, none were needed. The question in his eyes, she answered with a tilt of her head downward. Following the motion, he saw the trail of blood leading out and up the stairs. Several drops every so often. He hadn’t known it, but she had found the trail starting outside the house at his recall point. Rarely a person to let his emotions be seen, the tears had been coming from the moment he had entered the valley nonstop.

Staring into her soft eyes, eyes he wished did not have the ever present hunger behind, he stopped trying to keep her cut off from him and instead shared his grief at the situation, and the rage he felt towards himself. Carrie might have been the youngest, but she was all he had left now. The others, gone with familes of their own.

Still no words came, her arms wrapped around him as tight as she could. She missed Cherry as well, so much so, but now felt just how badly he needed her. Not as a lover, not as a fiance, but as someone who understood him finally. Someone who had always been there, but who he had refused to share with. His mistakes, Carrie saw, were things he would never be rid of within his mind.

And so she held him, for as long as it took for weariness to overcome him. Half supporting, she moved him into the guest room. Tending to the state of him, the depth of his depression became known. Both saddening her, and giving her resolve for what had to be done. While he slept she watched over him constantly, his hand held gently while she thought.

When he woke, she spoke of her thoughts.

He listened, quietly as always, and as he did she saw a flicker of light kindle in his eyes and hope flared within her chest. It grew with each word of hers, and finally he nodded. Hurriedly, before he could change his mind, she ran and fetched a pen and piece of paper for him. Shoving them forward, she watched as the first words took life from the pen.

“Marius, I have something I wish to discuss with you…”

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