He let the blood drip slowly from his fingertips. The rose he held was almost crushed and he didn’t even remember doing it.
Where was the pain coming from? He palpated his body as if the agony came from his own flesh. Sure, he’d obviously allowed the thorns of the delicate flower pierce his skin, but his fingers did not hurt. His palms were numb.
The drip of the blood on the tiled floor in the kitchen echoed loudly, at least to his own ears. There was no one else to witness it, therefor he couldn’t very well ask for a second opinion.
He felt himself drift inward to his own mind. It was not a conscious act, yet one that was dictated by another force. It had happened before and just like then, he allowed it to happen. He’d fought this introspection before and it had hurt his brain. He fought it even now by just remembering the last time and the blinding and searing light that bombarded his eyelids hurt just as much as the initiation into this strange phenomenon.
Brown hair. Cascading, with a few blonde and gray highlights flashed before his minds eye. He vaguely felt his own body hit the floor while watching the colors of the hair brush past his memory. It was strong. Almost too strong. The jolt of awareness hit his core, his abdomen, like a punch from an angry adversary.
Those eyes. So much sadness. The pain flared deep inside. He couldn’t see it, but he could feel it. Still he gave himself over to it. Grimacing, his face scrunching up in despair, she was there.
Homely. Imperfect yet beautiful beyond words. He was no longer in control and was now not on the floor but floating just above her.
Laying in a bed, shivering, she huddled from an unseen tormentor. He felt the need to pull the blanket to her, protect her but he was immobilized as if it wasn’t a job given easily. He cried. Wracking sobs hit his body as he watched. She held tightly to memories. He continued to watch, dying a little inside with each passing minute. Watched as she clenched her fists rhythmically. No tears came from her eyes. He was crying enough for the both of them. Suddenly he knew if this was the way for him to take the pain from the pathetic and beautiful form below him, he would take it.
Hot flashes of pain hit him square in the chest, shoving him back a little each time. Slowly, something was trying it’s very best to keep him from grabbing her and cradling her in his arms. When “it” realized he wasn’t budging like he should, images began to come.
A child crying in the closet, begging silently for a God that may or may not exist. Silent Our Fathers and Hail Mary’s whispered just loud enough not to let on where the hiding place was. A more budding young woman, fending off demons of the flesh. The only fault on her part was her innocence.
He screamed loudly. A roar that echoed inside of his own head. He knew it was only in his head because the form shuddering below him didn’t change the wracking pace of tears being shed.
Then just as suddenly as he had thought that there would be no way to help, his hands dripped with blood as he hovered. The thick, hot liquid dropped down on her face, replacing her tears she had so recently shed.
Slowly she released her body from the tortured position that would surely break her back at the arch it was in. She reached up and felt her face. Tentatively she brought delicate fingers to her lips and as she tasted the saltiness of despair, copper filled his mouth and that’s when he noticed his own fingers at his own mouth. Except he tasted blood.
Dropping quickly back to his huddled, used body on the kitchen floor, he looked again to his hands and the roses were still there. The blood congealing now. Cool and sticky to the touch. Dark. Dead. Somehow though he knew the death was not her. He had done it. He had eased her pain temporarily. The question now was, who the hell was she?
Stumbling to his feet he trudged to the mudroom at the back of his house. Dropping the dead flowers, he grabbed the only jacket that hung there. Slipping the over sized material across his shoulders, he was glad that it didn’t fit just right. It would cover the cuts on his hands. Clenching his fists tightly, begging for the pain to remind him of what his task was, he felt nothing but the urge to go to the bench. He needed her, badly. She would be there.