I wished I could turn back the hands of time. Beads of cold perspiration broke out as I sat upright on the bed, in shock. It happened again. The nightmare. I could still feel the burning flesh stuck in my throat, irremovable even after sleepless nights vomiting and brushing my teeth. It remained, haunting me wherever I went. The taste of food turning to ash from throat to palate. Burying my face in the deep recesses of my frail hands, a distant recollection flashed through my mind.
An angry, flickering mass of rubble greeted my eyes as I stood before my home, its fire raging horrendously, swallowing everything, neverending. My wife. Where was she? Without thinking rationally, I dashed headlong into the consuming fury, heedless of my own care and concern. Searching frantically through the collapsed abode that once stood, my eyes caught something. No. It couldn’t be. It can’t be. It was her bloodied hand, the ring still on her once soft and downy finger.
Lonely, heartbroken tears trickled down my face as I watched her being carried away, a thin white sheet covering her face. As my body convulsed in grief, I could not help to bear a feeling of deep loathing for the arsonist. Inside, my mind was greatly craving with an unbearable lust for revenge. Yet, grief overpowered my weak heart, the hunger for a comforting caress of the one I loved, greater. The red sky lingered before fading into a sepia tinted memory as I composed myself, trying to erase the painful thought with little success.
It had been almost a decade since she was buried. Snow now covered her otherwise bare, clean marble tombstone. Clearing it away, I traced my gloved finger across her name, hopeful for a return, if anything. A solitary tear of loneliness flowed from my luscious cheeks as I silently cursed myself for not being with her. I had been doing so since the day she died. Why did I even go out to work on that day? It had been my fault. If I hadn’t gone out, if I had just spend more time with her, maybe this would not have happened. My fists clenched in apprehension as the smell of her burning flesh became reminiscent once again.
Tears of remorse broke out as my heart felt shredded to irreplaceable pieces. The bright sky darkened, its clouds seemingly depressed. I released my frustration on the unmoving marker, before a hint of hesitation struck me. I blamed myself for this. I didn’t get to her on time, my fault to bear. As a result, the arsonist got away, taking her life with it as well. My frail body shook in sadness as a soft touch materialised itself on my stiffened arms. Turning around, I found my brother looking over me, his eyes glazed with condolence.
“Hikaru. Its not your fault. Its not your fault,” he said in a whisper, only audible to my ears alone.
Another wave of guilt and mourn overwhelmed me as my brother hugged me tightly, as if shielding me from the darkness beyond. It seemed to quell the unbearable pain residing in my heart. I had to somehow acknowledge that she had gone. The love of my life. Gone forever. The fact that my heart still longed for her was no doubt. I wished I could turn back the clock, but I knew. It wasn’t possible.