You Were Perfect12 Nov, 2017 05:31 AM
“I love you.”
And just like that, my world was taken away from me.
I remember it. I remember it all too well.
It was our night.
His eyes perused my entire being, inspecting me like I was a work of art; not with the lust I found so familiar within my past lovers—my past mistakes—but rather with a burning desire to truly love me with his all.
A minute smirk pulled at the corners of his thin lips, barely hinting at what would be the dimple many girls endlessly gawked at. The thought of another female admiringly and hungrily eyeballing him, my man, instigated a slight eruption of jealousy and anger. However, those emotions that I locked in the back of my mind, that I tried to avoid with him, instantly vanished the moment his finger tucked a stray hair behind my ear.
Blushing profusely, I looked down in embarrassment and elicited a baby-like giggle. Enjoying my reactions, he slowly placed his finger under my chin, lifted it up with such carefulness, as if to not disturb this loving moment, and I was met with those captivating brown eyes, delicately topped off with full luscious eyelashes. His eyes held the look, the one that was so compelling, so mysterious, yet emitted with a love so grand, so infinite.
With his face trained on mine, he gave my chin a small circular rub with his thumb and traced it to the corner of my eyes. His other hand snuggled perfectly under my chin, with his thumb on my cheek. He leaned in and planted a kiss on my forehead, sending sparks along my body. I couldn’t have imagined a better night than this.
The calm night sky was young, tinged with the ombre of a sunset and studded with stars, reflected upon the persistent waves crashing along the pier. It was as if they were in sync, as if they, too, wanted to show their harmony in serenity. The wind was inconsistent; it chose to either pick up in strength when he was about to charm me, as if cheering him on with its velocity, or discreetly merge into silence, waiting with impatience to see what will unfold. The welcoming aroma of numerous foods swirled in the enchanted air, converged into a pungent, yet riveting scent, attracting the likes of tourists. But there was this one distinct fragrance that overwhelmed it all, this smell that will forever be ingrained in my clothes, my mind, my memories. That romantic and calling odor, if close enough to its proximity, felt like home, derived from him.
The bright light glaring from the lightpost we were under, illuminated his long slender back, creating a vast silhouette along the cracked grounds of the pier. Because his back was toward the light, streaks of luminescence bounced off his back, revealing part of his face.
His jawline was sharply chiseled, joined with a slightly pointed nose that was tinted with a little pink from the cold air. His eyes were a mystery, intense but could soften at any given moment; he was unpredictable. His smile, oh his smile. Whenever he smiled, his perfectly aligned teeth greeted the world; whenever he closed them, he left the world in awe. That smile of his was unique, when broadened, a distinct dimple danced at the corner of his lips, completed his dashing appearance.
“You’re just staring at me, and it’s creeping me out.”
“Oh, sorry love. I’m still in shock that a guy like you could fall for a quirky girl like me.”
“Oh, silly. How many times do I have to remind you this? You are far beyond than I have ever imagined in someone. I love you so much, and you mean a great deal to me Jasmine.”
And just like that, I was at ease.
“I love you too, Brian, and happy one year anniversary, baby.”
Without an answer, he pulled me into an embrace with his strong arms and spun his body 180 degrees. A bit taken back, but appreciating the romantic gesture, I hugged him back, tighter. But something felt off.
Sound broke silence.
Noise erupted all around us like animals being released from their cages. I saw people screaming and running. Many were trampled on and left behind. I heard one person scream, “Shooter!” Realizing the situation, I tried to pry myself from Brian but his weight seemed heavier against me. A bit frustrated, I slightly pushed him off, yet he wouldn’t budge. Confused by his behavior, I looked at him with a bit of impatience.
“Brian, we have to go!” I urged.
I then felt my hand dampened behind his back and then it hit me.
He was shot. He took a bullet for me.
Tears began to well in my eyes. My heart began to pound against my chest; it wanted out of this body as it knew it would not be able to bear the upcoming pain. I carefully tried to lay Brian down but all six feet of him got the best of me. I fell backwards and he landed on his side with a thump. The image of him in pain was too much. I choked back tears and tried to scream for help, but my cries were swallowed by my own horror.
I positioned him so that he was on his back, and I tried to stop the excessive bleeding. I ripped strips from my own shirt and tried to fill in the bullet hole in his chest. My face was smeared with his blood as I wiped back tears.
No, no. This can’t be happening, I thought. It was all perfect ten minutes ago. I love you, Brian, please don’t leave me.
I couldn’t find myself to tell him that. I couldn’t say anything.
He was unconscious but breathing. I clung onto that sliver of hope.
I looked around frantically to see what was going on. I saw bodies lying around. I saw mothers clinging on to their kids and fathers standing above them, shocked. A six-year old girl had been shot and her mother uncontrollably sobbed over her body. Her cries in disbelief will forever be etched in my mind.
Suddenly, I felt his hand move, and hope replenished within me.
I looked down at him and our eyes met. Just like 20 minutes ago. Just like when we first met.
I tried to blink back tears but they refused; they slid down my swollen eyes and landed on his cheek, each droplet spreading out, as if caressing and hugging his cheek. I couldn’t hold it in anymore and let it all out. I didn’t know what to do. I was useless, helpless.
I carefully lied myself next to him and buried my head under his neck, closing my eyes. I wanted this moment to be the time he and I cuddled at the park, with our eyes absorbing the multi-shaded sky with cotton-ball clouds outstretched in the horizon; the sun setting with its fiery rays, outlining its circular shape; the birds migrating in their V-formation into the distance. From afar, it seemed as if the skyline was traced by the tips of branches from the oak trees; however, up close, these trees were colossal with their stretched arms cherishing the wakening of autumn. The grass was coarse and exerted a crunch when stepped on, perhaps a sigh of relief, as if it was thankful that its life was taken before the cold and harsh days could have. Panning down, I see the heads of the shoes he wore. His white Vans that were stained from the chlorophyll from the time he mowed his lawn; his left shoe was tied whilst his right was loose. Tracing up, he wore his Adidas pants with a maroon hoodie, strings untied. I remember looking up into his adoring eyes, his breath warming my forehead, his soft murmurs of loving words to me. My flashback started to blur out and I was jolted back to reality.
I felt movement. He tried to talk but instead coughed up blood.
“Try not to talk please,” I begged. I huddled my face closer to his neck, aware that his pulse was slowing down.
“Please don’t leave me Brian,” I managed to choke out. “You can’t leave me.”
A tear escaped his left eye, and he forced a tiny smile while slightly raising a brow. He was bleeding so much yet tried to disguise the unimaginable pain in front of me; how can a guy like him not be loved?
“I love you,” he whispered. He proceeded to smile with his eyes closed, showing off that dimple of his.
I felt hands pull me away from him. Anger and surprisement surged through me, and I tried to push whomever was pulling me away. It was a police officer.
“Wait! Please I have to tell him something! Please let go of me!” I screamed while shoving the police officer away.
“I’m sorry ma’am, but we need to start clearing up the incident and aid the injured, we can’t have anyone lingering around,” informed the paramedic that appeared next to the officer.
Those words echoed in my head, provoking rage. I wanted to use my remaining strength to yell in his face. I wanted to scream of how unfair that one couldn’t stay with a loved one, a loved one that could be taking his or her last breath. I felt the need to sear such words into his mind, to reverse the roles and see how he would feel. But I couldn’t, this seemed all too surreal.
I made one last effort to run away from the officer but another officer held me back and I was jerked away.
At this point, I felt my body giving up, I felt limp and let them drag me away. My eyelids began to droop and I couldn’t cry even if I forced myself to. My vision began to fade but the sight was permanent. I remember seeing the police putting caution tape around where he and I once stood. I remember one officer putting a blanket, the blanket that indicated death over his lifeless body. And under that blanket, was the boy I loved, but couldn’t hear it one last time from me.