You can also hear me read this story on:
The prompt was: “I have a secret…”
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It was difficult getting up this morning, and I’d almost forgotten what day it was—almost, but of course, I didn’t. It took only a few seconds of conscious thought before I remembered. It’s been twenty five years since she’s been gone. And every year since then, I’ve set aside today for her.
I’ve never told you about this, but I think it’s time you know. God…how I miss her. I can’t even bring myself to say her name anymore. I’m not worthy of her.
I still remember the last time I felt her touch. It was the touch of an angel, because that’s what she was to me. Angelic. In so many ways, she was not of this world. Her beauty was ethereal—delicate features, dark hair, almond-shaped eyes. I could feel her love just from the way she smiled at me. It wasn’t only a smile with her lips. Her entire aura changed—her face softened, her eyes gleamed, and she blushed. Her rosy cheeks were always warm against my face when she kissed me. Even today, when I close my eyes, I can still smell her, the fragrance of ylang ylang, her favorite scent.
She was so tiny compared to me, but when our bodies intertwined, and she burrowed her face into my hairy chest, it was like we had been made for each other. She used to say I was the yin to her yang. And when she climbed on top of me and took me deep inside her womb, I knew my body belonged only to her. What I didn’t know then, was that my soul belonged to her as well.
I have never felt a love like that, and yet, I walked away from it, thinking I needed something more, something else. I was a fool, and I must live with the consequences of my decision, because that’s what a man does. And I am, after all, only a man.
She always said she loved me more than life, and I’d assumed it was just her poetic way of speaking. But she was never one for drama. She just felt the spectrum of emotions so deeply. When she laughed, her body shook, and when she cried, she broke my heart, and when she felt pain…God, I should have known. How I’ve suffered for my decision to leave her! A part of me wanted to die with her, but I couldn’t. I just couldn’t.
Yes, she took her life, that’s a sin. And I’ve given you mine, but I’ve also sinned. I chose you over her so long ago, so I will honor my commitment to you. I’ll remain your humble servant and try to save others, for I know I can no longer save myself.
Today is a tribute to her, to her memory, and to how she made me feel alive. I will serve only her as I serve you the other 364 days of the year. It’s all I have left to offer her. Surely, a merciful God like you must understand how I’ve struggled to remain here! How I’ve questioned that I could listen to others when I couldn’t even listen to my own heart, that I could provide hope when oftentimes I felt completely hopeless.
Today is the only day of the year I will take for myself to feel whole again, to feel human, and to remember that my life was never as clear as when I was with her. She took me to new heights in this world I couldn’t have possibly imagined. With her, I could have been an accomplished man. Without her, I am but a flawed priest—a mortal bound to the ideals I have chosen to live by.
Lord. God Almighty. Tomorrow, I’ll spread the seed of your words once again, but today, I will spill my seed until I am emptied—the seeds of my life— the life I have bestowed upon you for the remainder of my days.
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This story is included in a collection called HOT FLASH, now available