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The following is a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

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Cold; The Anniversary
By Anstice

 


The door slammed and rattled the windows, jangled the knickknacks. He heard the engine scream to life and his whole world sped down the street, squealing tires and all. With a shout of fury strangled off somewhere in his throat, he threw his fists to his sides and closed his eyes so tightly they hurt. He didn't want to look at it, at the home around him. He'd made this life for her, for him. They were supposed to be together forever. They'd promised each other. The band that was cutting into the palm of his left hand from his third finger screamed that at him. He let his lids crack open and the first thing that caught his sight were the half a dozen clear bottles in front of him on the oak coffee table, all empty. They called it the “truth serum,” the alcohol. It would make even the best of liars tell the truth, but he hadn't meant it. He hadn't meant any of it. She was like a drug to him, a drug he'd made sure he'd have for the rest of his life six years previous. This was supposed to be their anniversary and it was ruined.

He growled hoarsely, drew his leg back, and then threw his foot forward, cracking it against the wooden table so the bottles skidded where they sat, trying to balance for a moment and then clanged to the floor, shattering loudly. The table scraped across the oak floor, carving shallow indentations into the wood. The glass tinkled around it, splattering everything near with sweet-smelling liquid. This isn't what he wanted. He didn't want to be standing here, feeling so alone. She'd always been there, even if she wasn't THERE. It felt like his entire world was collapsing in on him, choking off his air, suffocating him. Her words rang in his ears, haunting him like a demon.

“If this is how it's going to be, then I quit.”

He ground his teeth, closing his eyes tightly again. The release of screaming mean things at her hadn't been satisfying enough to mask the agony he was feeling as her pain-filled eyes swam in front of him. He'd let his screwed-up side take over and lost a never-ending battle with the woman he loved.

He fell backward onto the arm of the couch and then let his body slide off it violently until he was in the sitting position beside it on the floor, he knees to his chest. He rested his forehead in his palms, licking his lips. She was his world. The reason for his entire existence. How could he let her leave when everything he was living for was in her? He threw himself roughly out of the sitting position and stumbled to his feet, running hard into a side table with his outer thigh. He didn't stop to catch the lamp as it tumbled to the ground, cutting off the source of his light. He turned the corner through the archway to the kitchen quickly, and slammed his hand down on the keys that were waiting for him. He didn't lock the house. He didn't even turn to close the door. He was off the steps and into his SUV in eight seconds, throwing on his seatbelt and jolting the vehicle out of the driveway. He wasn't letting her walk away. If it took the rest of his life, he would make her see how much he needed her.

The speedometer creped its way toward eighty-five as he rounded a corner to six wooden road blocks and red flashing lights. He punched the steering wheel. He had to get to her. He didn't need this kind of complication. A traffic directing police officer waved him forward, rain pounding the top of his hair. He rolled down the window and looked at the cop.

“What's going on?” he asked, “Is it going to be long?” The man shook his head.

“There was an accident,” he let him know, “We're trying to work it out but with all this rain, it might be a bit before you're able to get through. You might want to turn around and head back the other way.” He shook his head at the cop. No. No, he wasn't going to turn around. He needed to see her again. He couldn't let it end like this. He rolled up the window, shutting out the sound of the falling rain again, and waited. His SUV inched forward ever-so slowly. It seemed like the longest few minutes of his life as he waited. Every centimeter of his body ached, wondering what she would say to him, wondering if she would push him away. He moved forward another few feet. He caught sight of one of the mangled cars from the accident and sighed. The world was going to Hell that night. He gripped the steering wheel, waiting for the cars to move again. They edged forward and he followed. He glanced out his window again, and squinted. He let his window roll down a bit, ignoring his wind-shield wipers as they threw water onto his face. The white metal was twisted, so he couldn't be sure that it was it. But the license plate he zeroed in on told him the truth and a scream of horror started somewhere in his stomach and fought its way up to his chest, his throat, and then out his mouth. He smacked the window with the seatbelt, and the door flew open as he tossed himself from the vehicle. He spun himself toward where he needed to run, grabbed the window frame for support. He stumbled and then slid in the rain water, but ran as fast as his legs would carry him. She was there. He could see her unmoving body lying haphazardly on its side in the rain, in the middle of a grass knoll, forty feet from her white Prius. He gasped, his throat closing off and splashed into the flooded, shallow ditch, screaming her name.

“Anna!” his voice cracked from the strain and he tripped over a piece of shrapnel from the two cars. He groaned, shoving himself back to his feet and ran forward. Everything stopped around him as he neared her. The sound in his ears closed off, his hands starting to shake. Everything moved in slow-motion. His heart beat loudly in his ears, only drawn out every so often when he drew in a deep breath. He felt like he was having an out-of-body experience. He was so close to her. He could hold her and steal her pain, make sure she would be all right. It wasn't too late. It was never too late.

Without warning, he was thrown to the ground by a force so hard it knocked the wind from his lungs. He fought against the body of what looked like a fireman, who had forced him to the ground.

“No!” he screamed, looking up at his wife, kicking as hard as his could in the water-logged land. He breathed in mud, trying with all his might to shove the man off him.

“Calm down! Stop!” the man screamed. He punched at the man's shoulder.

“No! Please, I have to be with her!” he screamed, “Please! Anna, I'm so sorry!” He gasped loudly, sobbing into the wet earth.

“I'm so sorry for the way I am! I never meant to be so cold! I love you!” he shrieked, “Please don't leave me! God, please, no!” The man pushed him farther into the earth, holding his arms at his sides. A man with a white sheet walked toward the scene and brought the garment to Anna's body. Her husband gasped.

“NO!” he shouted, “PLEASE NO! DON'T! SHE ISN'T GONE! SHE'S STILL ALIVE! YOU JUST HAVE TO LET ME—NO!” The fireman grunted against the man's frantic struggle. The EMT covered Anna's body completely with the sheet and watched the struggle as the man was overcome, burying his face into the mud. He didn't want to live. He didn't want to be a part of his body. He wanted to leave. He wanted it all to be over. He couldn't live if she wasn't alive. He moaned into the earth and felt the weight lift from his body and the fireman walked away to help the rest of the victims. The man lay where he was, his eyes getting heavy with loss and despair. He closed his eyes a black nothingness engulfed him.

~*~

He jumped awake with a start, feeling a warm blanket over his bare torso. He blinked heavily at the sunlight that was pouring through the window of what he knew to be his bedroom. His chest burned. He was breathing heavily. He felt movement next to him and he turned his head quickly. The hand on his chest folded into a fist and he heard a girlish groan as the woman next to him rolled over. He swallowed hard.

“Anna,” he whispered. She opened her eyes and smiled up at him.

“Morning,” she smirked sweetly and then leaned up to give him a soft kiss. He didn't return it out of confusion. She looked at him, concerned.

“Mike?” she asked. He swallowed again.

“Dream,” he shook his head, “It was just a dream.” She smiled widely at him and kissed him again, feeling him return it this time. She snuggled into his bare chest and let out a contented sigh.

“Happy Anniversary,” she smiled.

The End

 

The preceeding was a work of fiction. Any statements regarding any person, place, or other entity (real or imaginary) is the sole responibility of the author of this work of fiction. Fan Works Inc. takes no responsibility for the content of user submitted stories. All stories based on real people are works of fiction and do not necessarily reflect on the nature of the individuals featured. All stories based on other copyrighted works are written with authors knowing that these works violate copyright laws.

Please see the Terms of Service for more information.

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