Bewildering Stories

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When a man loves a woman

by Eric Z Fox

Certainly, I would give my life for her; that fact would never be in dispute. After all she is a goddess with hair that was strung by angels and eyes that twinkled like black diamonds on a face that would even make God cry. For all those reasons and a million more is why I did what I did.

Some thought I was crazy or obsessed but I always knew it was love. Strange and crazy as it sounds I trusted solely in the myth that it could conquer all.

It was a cold spring night that I met her. When my eyes joined hers I could feel them dance, tickling my soul. To her I was ghetto trash, but I felt our kindred spirits touching. Then on April 16th, an Easter Sunday, when she first entered my arms my heart grabbed her and I knew I would never let her go. And never did.

One year and two months later it ended, badly. Though I did love her more with every day. I was broken and when I saw her in the arms of another I screamed and so did my heart.

So I went on, just like time does, slowly and thoughtfully. Though I loved her truly I did try to go on, and even though I had been with many women, only a small few had touched my heart. And those, whom did, hurt me worse than the one before.

So now I'm 25 and still madly in love with her and even though she is happy, I'm not. For seven years I carried my secret burden. Wishing she was there. Never once to lay my eyes upon her. I told all I was over her, that she was water under a bridge.

A lie! As big of a lie as ever spoken, but they were all fooled. Often I would look over the few pictures of her I possessed, marveling over my own ignorance. Sometimes I would dream that the past was repaired and every morning when I awoke no one cared.

My existence went on like this. Nobody noticed that the spark had left both of our eyes. Occasionally I would go out, drinking was never much my thing, but dancing and the new hookups made it all worthwhile.

Chile's was the club. It was your average American meat market. The urban or techno sounds matching uniquely to the custom light show. The crowded club was difficult to roam, much less dance. I was standing on a rise above the dance floor skimming, checking who was there, when I saw her.

She was even lovelier, her strength screamed from her movements, as did her seductiveness. And if it were at all possible for me not to notice him I wouldn't have. But why try and fight the impossible.

He was awkward looking. I'd say impish if it weren't so harsh. Let me tell you I was amazed. Purposefully her eyes rose meeting my own and I saw it. They began to dance just like our first encounter. Quickly, though, bitterness and loss replaced the electricity and recognition. Painfully, I broke our gaze by pretending to study a table menu.

Cheerfully, the DJ announced it was the last call and song. I turned to where they were previously, but a crowd bustling to get their coats replaced them.

Softly, I sighed, making sure no one heard. Numbly, I made my way to the door as a large crowd began to assemble and the far side of the parking lot. Normally I would mutter an obscenity and go home. Unfortunately, something was different calling to me and of course I went.

In the center of the crowd my nightmare began to unfold. Together they stood her and him. She was crying, mascara was running down her face like two ebony rivers. Though it looked like he put up a good fight, he was beaten. One eye was swollen shut and the second was almost there. His thick eyebrows, well what was left of it, resembled what I thought of as gizzards. Holding his arm like it was badly injured he said something, which I wasn't quite sure of.

Now, yes you'd think that this would give me pleasure, but no, it did not. Anything that makes her unhappy wounds me deeply. So, I began to make my way towards them. As I got closer I saw he was much worse than I originally thought.

In between blood spitting fits he mumbled about dropping that, "One guy." slowly she stroked his hair like a mother, and at that moment I knew I'd never have a chance. I probably would have broken down right there, but I saw it out of the corner of my eye.

A smaller guy, with a lemon size welt on the top of his right eye. The moment I saw the little chrome revolver, I knew what it was. "Mudda f..." is what I assume he said as he squeezed two shots at her and her new husband.

And though I'd like to say I thought about saving him, about being some sort of hero. I can't, if there would've been time to think it would have been for her, but there was no time. So I just lunged taking it.

The slugs I didn't feel hit. My leather coat must have absorbed most of it. The first thing I felt was my shoulder hitting hard against the concrete garden. After I heard an odd cracking in... Of all things my chest.

As the bullets crashed through my rib cage, deflating my lung and one lodging to my left ventricle, I gasped. Painfully my chest began to warm from internal bleeding. I heard a hissing, a very strange but familiar sound, like that of a balloon that was quickly losing its continuity.

The sensation as the blood rose up my throat was pleasurable almost ecstasy. It was warm, with a cooling voice that invited darkness like a warm blanket. Instinctively I knew it was almost up.

Yet, still I thought that maybe she will see, but she was gone shoved back by the waves of panicking bystanders. And strangely I didn't think of God or heaven. I thought of two things, that I finally took part in making her happy, and how I wished I could see those lovely dancing eyes once more.

Then suddenly the world was gone and I was stuck here. Telling my story to no one. But at least she's happy!"

Copyright © 2003 by Eric Z Fox