Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock. Tick. Tock.
Beca sighed as she heard the desultory, old grandfather clock ticking the ephemeral time away, one by one. Her dark eyes met with the faded photo that hung onto the intricately done golden picture frame, which took her to her halcyon. It was a photo of the most felicitated day of her life, where she vividly remembered how opulent her white flowing gown felt while it wrapped around her pale body perfectly, and her dark locks falling down her back in perfect curls. The summery air sweeping her hair away from her face as she walked down the aisle, where she felt ethereal and as if a plethora of excitement and fear filled the air in which she inhaled. She remembered walking down eloquently and being the the cynosure of the entire hall as hundreds of eyes were drawn to her, but none of them matter as the bright blue that were filled with tears, shaking, biting his pink lip as he tried to stop them from escaping. As his blue met her brown ones, he smiled, a smile that was the panacea to everything that she was feeling. She found her tranquility in that smile, and efflorescented in warm happiness as he took her hand, and promised to her, “I do.. till death do us apart”. It felt as if it was an lagniappe she’s gotten from God, a gift to be treasured for a life time. Andrew meant the world to her, then, and now. He was her precious, the one person who always was a labyrinth of happiness, a person who always held her hand whenever she was terrified, the one person she trusted with all her life.
“He is so perfect” she smiled and traced the Andrew who looked surreal in the photo, beaming with happiness and he held onto her slender waist and held her so very close. It was a dulcet memory, a gorgeous moment. Beca gave a furtive glance at the clock.
It read. She sighed sadly. The happiness imbued by the photograph was etching away from her. He was late. Again. Her dark eyes turned hollow and she felt a sharp warning of her tears wanting to flow from her eyes. But she couldn’t. She couldn’t cry. Not now.
Everything is fine. He’ll be here soon.
She whispered to herself.
This has been happening for over a month now. Andrew wasn’t the dulcet, adoring husband anymore. A piercing pain stabbed her heart as she emulated these thoughts. He was always late, and he reeked of the untoward smell of alcohol and he wouldn’t even lay his eyes on her. He wouldn’t talk to her, he wouldn’t lay her finger on her. He didn’t hold her close and ask her about her day like he used to. Those days seemed like a mirage where he’d be home early with a huge bunch of sumptuous red roses, calling out her name as if it was the most mellifluous word in the world, and scooping her up in his arms and holding her close to his beating heart and his lips found hers. It felt evanescent and long gone.
Beca fought back her tears.
“Why?! The voice in her head screamed and wailed. “Why I am not enough?! Why doesn’t he even look at me now?! He acts as if he doesn’t even see me, he avoids me, ugh what did I do wrong?! What did I even do wrong?!”
She was beleaguered by these thoughts and yet she knew, she loved him more than anything she’s ever loved. Whatever he did, whoever much he may ignore her, her heart still ached for him. He was her muse, he was her exilir. No matter what, she’ll hold on to him.
“I’ll love you till the sun dies..”
She remembered her singing to him, as he smiled and lilted across to her, and kissed her forehead. She had had so many happy memories with him, they were too precious to her, and she ran them over and over in her head, and it’s when the epiphany hit her, she loved this man more than she loved herself.
The grandfather clock chimed loudly and startled the life out of Beca. It was 1:00 AM.
“Where is he?!”
She thought while another flame of pain surged through her veins. She couldn’t hold in her tears anymore. She was in an imbroglio of pain and love and she couldn’t help it. She couldn’t leave him. He was hers. Nobody else’s.
Beca stopped dead in her tracks. Somebody else. The thought set her whole body on a raging fire.
Could her Andrew be in a dalliance with someone else?! No. No. No. She said firmly to herself.
He wouldn’t. He couldn’t. NOOOOOO.
Her train of thought was interrupted by a familiar sound. The mellifluous sound of Andrew coming home. He walked in softly as if he didn’t want to wake anyone up. She smiled. Always so caring.
“Andrew, darling! I stayed up for you”
Beca said dulcetly as she hugged him tight. Andrew trembled and shrugged her away. He look disheveled and jaded.
“So tired” He whispered. “I can’t deal with this”
It felt like a sword through her heart. Andrew wouldn’t even look at her. He walked into the living room and collapsed into the old couch that he loved ever so dearly. Beca felt crushed and tears ran down her face. Andrew turned away as if he didn’t notice.
“He’s-s j-just tired-d.”
She whispered to herself desperately trying to stop crying. She took three calming breaths and turned the stove on to make him some tea. She collapsed into the kitchen stool and covered her face with her hands.
“He’s just tired”
She heard his footsteps into the kitchen and she raised her head. He quickly turned the stove off.
“I w-was g-going to make you some t-tea, darling” she whimpered.
“Beca. He sighed. “Just, go away. “
“B-but, n-no” Beca felt numb. Is he asking for a divorce?! No. No. No. He was all she had. He was all she ever wanted. She couldn’t just, leave him and go away when her entire heart belonged to him. How could she move on?!
“Is it someone else?” She asked quietly.
“I-I’m sorry Beca. I can’t do this. I tried to be okay with this. With you. B-but, I can’t. It hurts me. He sighed, “its not like before, everything has changed. I can’t do this anymore. And act like everything is fine, when it’s not. I’m not happy, you are not happy, I’ll go mad! I’ll go mad, Beca.”
“Baby, please no. Beca cried. I-i’ll be better, I promise. Please, don’t leave me. Please. Pleaseeee. How is everything any different?! Who-who is the new person?! You promised to stay with me, YOU PROMISED, ANDREW!!”
She was trembling in pain and angst. Tears fell down her face, she looked like a picture of ineffable pain. One more chance was all she ever wanted.
“B-Beca I’m sorry. I swear I am. I didn’t want this to happen to us. I-I tried to be okay with this, I can’t. Andrew was shaking. Beca, I’m so sorry. I’m so sorry.
“I’ll love you till the sun dies…”
Andrews phone sang as it interrupted this imbroglio. He looked at the screen and looked guilty and flustered.
“Hello? Jillian? He said to the phone.
Jillian. So it is another woman?! Beca fell onto the floor and sobbed as Andrew looked away.
“Should I pick you up?! Alright. I’ll be there” he said to the phone.
“W-what?! H-how dare you?! Why Andrew?! No, no no” Beca wailed, as he walked out, slamming the front door. He left her there. He left her there, sobbing, calling out his name, screaming for one more chance. She lay there for a good fifteen minutes. She was drained of her energy. She felt sorrow seeping through her bones and her face was an ineffable translation of sadness. Jilian. She felt a surge of anger and jealously running through her, burning like a flame. He left her, for Jilian. Again, a pain that tortured her soul, the pain that made her want to tear herself apart. Gone. He’s gone.
But she knew one thing. That she couldn’t. Andrew was her world. Her purpose. What was a life without its purpose?! She shook with pain.
I have to hold on. I have to hold on.
She said to herself. And got up, on to her feeble knees, and poured herself a glass of water. That’s when she heard a familiar footstep.
“He’s back! Her heart sang. “He’s back!”
He wasn’t alone. Her jaw hung open. Did he dare to bring that devil of a woman into their house?! To their house where they had made so many memories?! It was their epitome of love, it was theirs. How could he?! She felt crushed. She felt numb and the jealousy tore at her heart.
“Come in, father”. She heard Andrew say. Father?! Father?! He dared to bring her father?! She was feeling weak. She was confused and incredibly upset. Tears rolled down her face, over and over.
“Let me help you Jilian. He whispered. She wanted to tear her apart. She wanted to rip her into pieces and feed her to the dogs. Beca was shaking in anger and pain. “One good look and I’ll strangle the bitch” Beca announced to herself. How dare he bring them in knowing she was inside?! To show them his wife that he would divorce for her?! Beca was shaking.
Jilian stepped in with the help of Andrew. Beca’s jaws dropped. Jilian looked about 70 years old, her white hair short and curly. This was-this was Jilian from church! The old woman who helps the Father out during the ceremonies. Beca was even surprised and shocked to see Father Brown walking in to her house.
“Is this the place you wanted me to see?” Father Brown asked Andrew.
“Yes Father. Andrew replied. “This is the place I think my dead wife is haunting.”
A glass shattered onto to the floor from nowhere.