The vast fields look over the stretch of mountains that mingle with the horizon like it’s an everyday affair. The river cutting through the fields so seamlessly as if it’s part of an artist’s imagination.

The sunlight falls on the porch, neither too hot, nor too soft, just right. The soothing wind just makes the heat right.

A cowboy sits in the chair with his hat resting on his face. All dressed up in his attire, a cigarette lit in his left hand and a old crass book, unrecognizable at first, in his right.

This soothing weather doesn’t amuse him anymore, he’s been living in these lands all his life, inheriting it from his late uncle who was the former Sherrif of the county.

The thoughts of her come and go and disturb his peace. He takes a puff, a deep puff and holds it in for as long as possible. All kinds of pain feel like an escape now, he resorts to pain when the thoughts become overbearing.

Hers used to be a happy memory, she used to be a beautiful instance in his life, he had watched her grow from a cheerful chubby little girl to the tall and graceful woman she was now. There’s was a story that used to be discussed in every household, “How good they look together” used to be on everyone’s lips.
So good, so very good, but not all good things last, not all stories see completion.

“I should’ve been fucking careful”, he mumbles as he tries to forcibly read his book. Futile in his effort, he starts thinking again about that strange day, strange in so many ways.

To find your love, being forced by someone, that strange. To shoot her mistakenly in the heat of the moment, that strange. To run away and not get caught of a crime he wanted to get convicted for, that strange. To not being able to find the man who stole the life from his love, that strange.

He couldn’t find solace past that, he attended the funeral, he talked to the police with a solemn face, in grief. He did everything a lovelorn man is supposed to do.
But, he didn’t cry. He couldn’t, he wanted to, but the shock of the moment had pushed the tears back in his eyes.
Eyes, eyes that had seldom slept after that, that always were looking for that face, that memory of the man who had shattered his life.

Every day, he repeated the whole thing in his mind, to keep the memory fresh, to keep the diluted face from washing away even more. The fear of coming across the man and not recognizing him sent a chill down his spine. It would be a betrayal to his love..

Was it love anymore? His days were spent looking for him, his nights, thinking about him, his heart was consumed by the hatred, hatred of that day, of that moment, of himself..

Maybe this was how he was supposed to live now, alone and in remembrance of her, of the promises, promises of staying together, of colluding in the dreams and ambitions of each other, of making each day better than the last….

There are pretty love stories, there are sweet cuddly moments, there is the loss of the loved ones, there is the remorse of losing them, love, it can endure all that, but isn’t hate another manifestation of love itself? Hate is not the opposite of love, apathy is. Sometimes, when love is snatched away from a person, it leaves a deep scar and the wound refuses to heal, it becomes septic, so septic that only hate can survive there.

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