The man in the wheelchair tolerated the rain. He tolerated the droplets hitting the skin on his arm. He tolerated the sound of Johns feet clumsily plodding through this house. He tolerated theses in quiet solidarity awaiting the day that he would finally be able to leave this place. This, his prison, was designed for him to reflect upon his sins at least that was what John had told him. He regretted nothing. He’d had his happiness and, although it came from the suffering of others, he lived in the glory of it. He could see her sitting in front of the window. He could see her hair resting in curls on her shoulders, he could see her leaning against the window pane had she had done the first time he saw her. If he could not have her, then no one could. He wanted to walk to her, to hold her in his arms, to feel her heartbeat against his. He had stopped reaching out to her. The chains around his wrists and ankles dug into his skin when he tried to go to her. He could only watch. He could hear John’s knees slam into the floor and he knew there would be no dinner tonight.
The damp wood was somehow soothing against his face. The rain could not put out the fire that raged within his dreams and clouded his realities. The images of the family he could have had shriveled away before his eyes. She had been his future. She had been his entire life and she had been taken from him by the man he’d promised her to tolerate. He was flooded by the memories of his failure. The memories of trying so desperately to save her. He couldn’t run to her fast enough, to reach her before she’d drowned in the smoke and the flames. He’d broken down the door and pulled her out but she was no longer there. He could only hold the empty vessel and try to bargain with death, but death would not take him. The other man had simply stood there with what John saw as the slightest smile dancing in his eyes. The other man had let her burn. John lay on the floor until the rain had stopped.