I can’t believe she’s gone. My world shatters as I see that the beast has ripped her soul away. I scream into the fading light of day. How can I even pretend to want to go on? She is my life and my light. My face sears with the molten tears that stream from my eyes. I stumble and fall to my knees before her crumpled body. My howls echo through the rooms of our home.
I do not want accept that she is dead and I do not want to prove it, so I do not touch her—not at first. I do not want to live life with her as only a fading memory. I do not want to forget her face, her smile and her love. The way she touched my hand in the evening light will never happen again. We were finished with school when we met. Her eyes twinkled when she smiled. I knew I loved her at that first meeting, what else could it be that I felt? I could see she felt the same, her eyes held back nothing now they show nothing.
My hand trembles as I slowly begin to take the truth. I touch first her shoulder, no response or warmth. I pull the hair that veils her face away softly, smoothing it behind her ear. My eyes are blurred; I still do not want to believe. How long is it that I’ve been away? A few days? A month? I cannot recall. The smell from her is putrid and it makes me gag. I turn her and cradle her in my arms. My sobs are as strong as ever. I am to blame for this, even though I did not take her life. I hold her close for a few moments before lying her back down on the floor.
I force myself to leave and not look back. I stop at the doorway but do not turn for one final look. I push the memory of her decomposing face from my mind. I will not remember her that way. I think of her sparkling eyes and brilliant smile. I see a neighbor peek from a cracked door and quickly shut it when they see me notice—no condolence. I half-fall down the stairs and through the door to the street. The light of day is all but gone. I throw my head back and shriek my grief into the night.

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