She pulled the car over, kicking up dirt on the shoulder as she slammed on the brakes. She threw it in park and left it to idle. Gripping the wheel to the point her knuckles were bone white she stared out the windscreen, seeing nothing other than the haunting images behind her eyes.
The mask of control she’d valiantly maintained slipped ever so slightly. It was enough. The little gap was plenty for the loss and grief to slip through. Tears began to fall, slow at first but all too soon her body shook violently from the sheer force of her despair. She screamed her outrage and smashed her fists into the hard plastic in the centre of the steering wheel.
Feeling restricted in the closed confines of the car Melisa got out, slamming the door. She kicked the front tyre as she past, walking to the front. She let the tears fall. She hit the bonnet, pounding on it until she collapsed across the hood, crying tears held in for far too long.
Melisa stood up and screamed at the top of her lungs. She swore at the sky and cursed the ground. She stopped only when her throat felt like it had been ripped to pieces. She glanced out at the farmland and tree covered mountains in the distance. The land was brown from the harsh summer just ended. The cooler months would hopefully bring with it much needed rain and soon the area would be green and thriving with lift once again.
Funny how seasons’ changing becomes a sobering thought. Melisa picked up a handful of rocks by her feet and threw them savagely at the land; angry life went on as if he had never existed. How could things continue? Life, the world, everything went on as if nothing had happened. How could it keep going? How could no-one notice such a life changing and traumatic event like a death? Her world couldn’t possibly continue. There was no surviving this for her. Life was over.
The anger was short lived with the grief far stronger. Melisa crumpled to the dirt, curling in a ball and the pain ravaging her again. Six whole days she’d kept it at bay but she’d given it permission to escape and there was no stopping it now.
She lay there long after the sun had gone down. She was beyond the tears now. She just wanted to sleep. She prayed with all her being she could sleep and simply never wake up.
The car had long stopped running, coughing and dying some time ago. She didn’t care. Her phone vibrated in her pocket and slowly, exhausted, she pulled it out.
Jack was displayed on the caller ID. She tossed the phone aside. It rang again and she watched it vibrate in the dirt, the screen flickering but made no attempt to reach it. She didn’t want to talk to him.
‘Where are you going?’ Jack had demanded as Melisa threw clothes into a suitcase. She wasn’t thinking about what she was taking, just haphazardly throwing in the first things she’d found.
‘Anywhere but here. I can’t stay here anymore. I can’t be here. I won’t look at these walls, at this house, at his room,’ she’d said, her heart clenching at the thought of his room.
‘You can’t just leave.’
Melisa turned on him. ‘Why? Why can’t I. What’s keeping me here? Nothing. There is nothing here for me now,’ she cried.
Jack stepped back as if she’d slapped him. ‘What about me?’
‘What about you? I can’t look at you,’ Melisa spat. ‘I can’t stand the sight of you.’ She closed the suitcase roughly and pulled it off the bed.
Melisa remembered the hurt on Jack’s face. The pain she’d caused was etched on his handsome face, swimming in the tears welling in his brown eyes. Beautiful brown eyes with flecks of green. Melisa felt a stab to the chest, a physical wound at the thought of those eyes. He’d had Jack’s eyes.
‘I lost him too Mel,’ were Jack’s last words to her before she’d walked out.
She hadn’t been able to look at him a moment longer. She did not look back. She’d gotten in the car and left. Left it all behind. She realised now she was trying to leave the pain behind. But she couldn’t out run something that was a part of her. There was no escape from it. It was with her now. It was and always would be.
The phone rang again. She hesitated but picked it up. ‘It hurts so bad. I want him back Jack,’ she cried. ‘I just want him back.’