They were still in their wedding outfits. His tuxedo and tie hang loosely against his sleep deprived body. He face in his hands, gaunt and red eyed. His hands covered in dust. She sat. Folded arms. Her tainted white dress flowing down to her ankles. Grey and black stains standing so viciously on the snow white lace. A loose jacket covered her cold pale arms. They sat in silence. Quiet. Contemplating the past events that had screamed through the happiest moment of their lives.
Their wedding day. Perfect. Serene. The sun filtering through the willows that surrounded the architecture of the church. Blossom leaves falling around the blushing bride. Twisting and turning with the wind. Smiles of ever lasting joy spread impeccably on the lovers. Now soul mates. Entwining fingers. Hearts. Spirit. Pledging everything they have to each other. For eternity. For richer. For poorer. In sickness. In health. Till death do they part.
Until the warm reception. Too warm. A blaze ripped through the building where they celebrated. A fire. The rays and light turning the night into a dark and dismal place. And now all the wife and husband sat in the ruins. Charcoal and black memories lay strewn on the floor.
He hadn't said a word. Situations like these do not come easy for him. They twisted in his mind. Creating a place that he refused to retreat to. Like a disease they coveted and inhibited everything he held closed. Everything he loved. She, on the other hand, needed to talk. To let the awful tragedy sink in, she needed words. Forms. Sentences. There was so much to go through. So much to overcome. And his persistent taciturn demeanour was irritating her. Scraping at her soul.
"I can't believe this is happening" She whispered. Her eyes focusing on his back. Moving up and down somewhat raggedly as he struggled to breath without sorrow. His eyes closed and sore. Though she could not see, she could sense he was crying. Yet no words escaped his tight lips. "Why aren't you talking to me?"
"Please.." he uttered in a single release, "Please go away."
His response was not what she anticipated. It hit and stunned her. She sat more rigid in her chair. Please go away. Understandable there was a craving to be left alone. But from each other? After all this was their day. Their life. Their love, that had to overcome this. He had never spoken this way to her. It was a new, harsh emotion.
"What?" She snapped back, "How dare you?"
She stood up in fury. Kicking her chair back. His shoulders jumped slightly and he clasped his fists together. Pressing his lips against them and rocking back and forth. He was muttering into his skin. "Please go away go away go away."
She stared at him with sadness and anger. He wouldn't look at her. Barely recognising she was there. Tears welled up along the eyelids. Watery foes that threatened to cascade down her cheek. She raised her hand and restricted them. Walking away from him. Across her ash covered party that only till last night she was dancing in the spotlight. Mascara already spilt. Drying on her rosy cheeks. A harsh difference.
She had never loathed the whittling dawn before. At night there was only darkness. Flashing lights of emergency crews. Battling water and incredible heat. She stood. Watching the flames lick at all she planned. The devastation was so brutal she could not feel the cold. Only the pain as guest, fled in a panic driven mass. But at night she could not see how the damage. And now as she examined the building, she knew how harsh a simple spark had been. That is why she hated the rising sun.
"How?" She muttered, it was a simpler question than why.
He took his hand from his mouth and mumbled, "A cigarette" he stuttered, "in the bathroom."
This frustrated her more. There was no accident. It was recklessness. Sheer stupidity that had made her happiness into misery. Misery that interlocked against her heart. Beating at the same time. Filling her veins with desperation.
Time move quickly. The clock turning. Dissolving into the abyss. She wanted them back. She desired the hands of time to turn back. Find herself seated beside him. Holding his hand. But instead, she was facing her fears. Her nightmares. A scene of pure horror, playing out in front of her.
"This is going to cost," She spun around to him, "I mean do we still get insurance."
"I don't know" he said softly, brushing of her question, "I don't know."
It was only seconds later when a sense of guilt ridden questions flowed over her. Into her system. A cold wave if neglect. She had been so wrapped in her own misfortune that she had forgotten about all who sat around her. Her family. Her friends. Were they ok?
"Oh god" each word harboured her resented selfishness, "Did any one die?"
She heard his breathing falter. His heartbeat stop. Hushed. No noise was resounded from him. It highlighted his answer. It screamed at her though he was never heard. Rushing grief. Remorse. Shivered along her skin. Making her hairs stand on end.
"D-Did anyone die?"
"Yes" he slowly nodded. She brought her hand up to her fallen jaw.
"Who?" she walked over to him. Sitting down in a chair. Someone who had held a place in her heart. In their lives. Was gone. Forever. And there was no way of getting them back. The truth twisted. In front of her was her wedding. Her dress. The fire. And thousands of fingers pointing at her. Her fault. Her blame. She let herself sob. She turned her head to him, repeating the previous question, "Who?"
He opened his pupils to her. They were glistening. He loosened his hands to reveal a silver ring. With a diamond in place. Sitting perfectly on a throne. Her wedding ring. He held it between her. She had barely noticed that it was missing. Her hand seemed strangely bare without it.
"What are you doing?" she pondered, "Who died?"
"First, let me give you this back."
She peered at him with bewilderment. Confused. Perplexed. She held out her hand to receive the ring. He glanced into her pale blue eyes for an instance then continued. Concentrating on the middle of the palm. He placed it perfectly in the cup she had created. It fell to the floor. She stared at him in disbelief. Shaking her head slowly. So very slowly. He in took a leash of oxygen
"You did" he sighed, "You died."