Her memories punctured the dreams of the man in the wheelchair and reminded him of the day he’d first seen her. She was leaning against the window pane of the large front window of the library. He liked to watch her from the table in the far corner of the room. He knew she was in love but he didn’t care. ‘The first never lasts,’ he would say to himself. He desired to be the second. They had never spoken but in the man’s mind they were deeply, unquestionably in love. He would watch her from the corner of his eye and study the careful movements of her hands and the shuffle she would do when she was nervous. Every night he would imagine running the tips of his fingers along the line of her jaw and collar bone. Every night he would stare into the darkness believing that he was staring into her eyes. His nights darkened once again when he saw how brightly her happiness shown when she was with her husband. He’d believed that the love she was bestowing on John was meant for him. The anger planted itself deep in his brain growing steadily greater day by day.
The man was awoken from his dreams by the steady whoosh of fabric being pulled off of something.
The last of John’s sanity had burned away in his time on the floor of their bedroom. He was pulling the white sheets from the abandoned furniture and pouring gasoline throughout the rooms. He could not live without his wife. He could not live without her calling his name and knowing that he could not save her. He could not live with only her memory.
He covered every room but the room of the man in the wheelchair, he would suffocate and burn like she did. When the house had been thoroughly doused, John laid down upon their bed.
He picks up a lighter from the kitchen and holds it in his hand. He runs his fingers over the smooth metal surface a memory of her flashing before his eyes with each turn of the metal. He clicks open the lighter and flicks it on and off a couple times, hearing her voice in the sound of the flame. He takes a deep breath letting the sweet smell of the gasoline fill his soul. He drops the lighter onto the floor.