Part 2

He asked Lucy if she had a nice house, and she said yes, I do.
  I bet you have a beautiful garden with lots of red flowers, and trees that shade you when you sit and read in your best dress and straw hat.
  She laughed softly. Yes, lots of flowers.
  Do you live in a nice part of town, my dear? I hope there aren't any nasty young boys that bother you with their loud music and careless bike riding.
  We live in a very nice neighbourhood, Mr. Simpson, she said. It's on this side of town, not too far from the hospital and close to my daughter's school.
  You have a daughter?
  Do you love her?
  Of course.
  She seemed uncomfortable; her eyes drifted to the door and she said that's everything then, see you tomorrow, Mr. Simpson.
  She left then and he muttered to himself. It's David. How many times?

  Take me to the primary school, the one nearest to here.
  Of course, Sir.

The seat of the taxi is cold, the air, too. The driver is wearing a beanie and a grey jacket, and there are cigarettes in his front pocket. The windows have droplets of water still clinging from the last shower, several hours ago. It is cold, and his head hurts.
  Who are they to give him time? Time is not handed out like candy on Halloween; it's not a gift for a man to give, not for certain. Suddenly he wants to be out of the taxi, and even as he thinks this it slows to a stop. The wind is cold and rushes around like a stampede of tornadoes just passed him. His eyes dart around the street; the lampposts throw light in large circles, cars are parked like sleeping beasts, windows in houses are dark and still.

  The taxi driver is talking. Sir, excuse me sir. That will be twenty seven dollars and sixty five cents. Sir?
  His voice is annoying, high like a mosquito's whine, consistent like a dripping tap. He doesn't want to give him any money. He wants him to go away. Go away, he says.
  Sir, you need to pay me- Go away! He yells at him, and pulls out the knife he found in the hospital kitchen.
  The taxi driver leaves, tires screeching on the wet road, and David starts to walk down the street. He wonders how he is going to find the house. It's almost ten o'clock at night and she has work tomorrow. She'll be in bed, sleeping soundly next her husband, her head buried in soft pillows, and a plush duvet draped around her legs. Tomorrow he'll bring her breakfast in bed while their daughter snuggles happily under the covers with them, and while the early morning sun rises and shine through the windows of their perfectly clean, white bedroom.
  He doesn't want her to be happy, not with him. He wants her all for himself.

  His watch says that thirteen minutes have passed since he stepped out of the taxi, and he is still walking alone down Lucy's road. The dark has intensified, it seems, since he started out, and so, he realizes, has the pain in his head. All of a sudden there are drums beating, and his arm is hurting. There are fireworks crackling inside his eyes, whistling like kettles at the boil, screaming into the sky to explode magnificently in a dazzling burst of short lived fire. There are sirens; shrill screams in the night air. His head hurts, and his arm hurts, and suddenly he is lying on the pavement, and it is so, so cold through the thinness of his hospital gown.

  As the sirens grow louder now everything hurts; hurts with the gradual nature of a river rushing towards a waterfall, hurts with the intensity of a long-held opera note. Then the pain is gone, and instead there is a sensation that he feels all over: a feeling of sliding along inside a narrow tube, the end of which holds something those of us living can only guess at.

  That might have been the end, and it nearly was, but through slitted eyes he sees Lucy running, dressed in a pale purple robe and white slippers. Her face hovers above him. It seems almost as if he is looking at her from underwater, from beyond an ethereal barrier he'll never be able to cross.

  The ambulance arrives and men rush out, tripping lightly like dancers, wielding strange instruments designed to help, but David feels hindered, and he wants to lift the weights off of his arms but he can't. Something won't let him.

  A man in navy pajamas and a hurriedly thrown on brown coat is there next to Lucy. He looks terribly worried, and David hates him for it.

  In seconds, they are back at the hospital. The pictures are swimming inside his head now. The barrier ripples like a glass of water during a tremor.

  It's too late.

  Lucy. His love for her will last forever.

  Never mind that it killed him.

The End

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