How many of us shiver whenever we hear that word? How many of us have lost a beloved or a close friend before thanks to that twisted fate, death? How many of us tremble in fear and terror whenever we hear that death, that hated ill guest, had visited someone we know, distant or close?
Taken them away, to heaven or hell, never to be seen again. At least, not in this life.
At first glance, it appears that the city of which we are about to talk, is quiet and peaceful; perfectly fine. Its darkness could appear as if it were perfectly normal at that time of the night, its quietness could probably reflect the state that all of its citizens were sleeping or simply home. Those were the first thoughts that could happen to anyone who’d look at the London of that time.
However, first glances are never precise enough. The darkness was too much and too dense, thanks to the black-out curtains hanged all over the houses’ windows, and the ones which were tarred as well. The quiet of the night was one of fear, one of anticipation and one of terror.
“I don’t understand you, Robert,” said the twenty-year-old young woman, “Why are we staying here when we could have gone to the underground stations like all the people are doing? It’s a lot safer there and the government itself is taking care of the civilians. We could all take care of each other there.”
Robert sighed in frustration at his wife, “That’s exactly why the Germans attack the stations first, Nancy. They pretty much know that these are where most of the people refuge and they attack them more than they attack London itself now.”
Nancy nodded, and then sat down back in her chair. The moment she sat down, it was almost like an earthquake had hit the house-it shook so hard that she almost fell on the ground if it hadn’t that Robert caught her in time.
“They are attacking again!” Nancy exclaimed as she continued to hear the sounds of the bombings falling all around, but none of them hitting their house yet.
“Come on, to the cellar!” Robert quickly took her hand, and with her getting hold of her torn dress, she followed him to the basement of their small apartment, one that was placed among many in one of London’s districts on the last floor.
Locking the door after them, Robert made sure to cover the windows with more blackout curtains, making the cellar darker than it already was. The sounds of the bombings continued to blast in the air, the screams of the people merged along. Explosions, fires, cries-all heard at once and only one thing known and feared-death.
“Robert? Robert? Don’t leave me, Robert,” Nancy softly moaned, her hands softly moving around, trying to get hold of anything to lead her through her darkness, to find her lost husband whom she couldn’t see but could only hear the sounds of the fires and cries. And how could she know that her husband wasn’t caught in one of those fires, or if he had one of those cries?
“I am here, darling, I am right here,” Robert carefully moved to her and wrapped his arms around her, allowing her body to droop between them and hug her husband close, seeking comfort and security, blocking out the sounds from her head.
“We’re going to die, right, Robert? I never heard the bombings so loud. They were never that close,” she whispered to him, burying her head further and further into his chest, wishing she’d block out all the horrible sounds away; those sounds that reminded her of nothing but one thing-death.
“Calm down, Nancy, it’s going to be okay. It’s going to be okay, darling. It’s safe here. The cellar is underground and the windows are tightly shut; there is no way they’d find us. Calm down, darling,” He rubbed her back gently and then holding her in his arms, he carefully led her to a corner of the room, helped her sit down and then sat down beside her, holding her the whole while.
For a while, it continued to be like that. The sounds of the bombings continued to blast and the sounds of the falling rocks and stones-the falling buildings. Nancy slightly shivered as Robert continued to hold her, to warm her. Her hands were on her ears but she couldn’t block the sounds. Those sounds full of horror, terror and she was full of fear; fear of nothing but death.
Suddenly, it was quiet. The bombings stopped and the cries gradually went down. Nancy came to calm down as well as the sounds were slowly gone, and she whispered,
“Is it over?”
Robert shook his head, “I doubt. They are probably taking a break, or checking where they should hit next.”
He turned to her and gently stroking her cheek, he softly said, “Don’t worry, darling. We’re safe here. I won’t let anything happen to you.”
Nancy nodded slowly although the looks of worry were still drawn on her face. Despite that, however, a question suddenly struck her head. Softly, she said,
“You weren’t talking so nicely earlier . . . before the attacks.”
Robert looked surprised, and on instinct he replied, “What do you mean by that?”
Nancy looked hesitant, and for a moment, she regretted her comment. But she had already said it and she couldn’t back off it now. Hanging her head down, she replied,
“You haven’t been the same lately, Robert,” she whispered softly, her gaze away from him. She couldn’t see him, and she couldn’t see his expression. But if she could, would she have looked? No, she would have looked away anyhow. “Ever since the accident.”
Robert turned away, a look of gloom going all over his face. For a few minutes, he was silent, not knowing how to reply. And what could he say? What could he say when his wife was gently blaming him, reproaching him for leaving her out recently?
The silence between the two continued as Robert found no words to reply with, and Nancy was too shy to ask him for an answer. The silence was brutally broken, however, when the sounds of bombings were heard once again; but this time, a lot stronger, deeper, and more profound. Their house shook hard for the first time and the sounds almost penetrated their ears.
Nancy quickly snuggled herself close to Robert and in fear, she said, “Robert, what’s going on? Why is the sound so strong? The house is shaking!”
Robert wrapped his arms around her protectively and momentarily forgetting about everything, he replied, trying to hide the worry and panic in his own voice,
“Calm down, Nancy. We’re in the cellar. Nothing can hurt us.”
However, the sounds continued blasting, and the bombs continued falling. Bullets, explosions and the cries-oh, the cries. Those horrible screams of the women and men, of the old and young alike; all running away from one thing: death. Oh, death, death!
Nancy’s hands slowly moved to her ears, trying to block out the sounds and voices. If she didn’t hate hearing them so much, she might have been joining them in the screams. If her husband’s arms weren’t around her, she would have run away like they were-perhaps to her death, or to another life in another world.
As the sounds continued for a while, the house suddenly began shaking again, and the voices of rocks falling down could be heard from the floor right above their cellar. Robert heard them clearly and almost got up to check what that was before Nancy’s hands clutched into his shirt, yelling,
“Don’t! Don’t leave me. I don’t want to die alone, Robert!”
Had she said anything else, he might not have listened. But the mention of death moved him, and the situation around them was so convincing that death might be close after all. Who could escape it after all? Who had escaped it before, would escape it sometime soon?
So instead, he held her like he was, didn’t move from where he was. He looked at his wife, observed her. She was shaking; her face was pale-so pale that he could see it through the darkness. Her eyes were closed but what was new about that? Hadn’t she gotten used to having them closed all day and night, ever since the accident?
His thoughts were moved from the panic and worry that had occupied him a little ago to his wife’s looks, her thoughts and her fears. Automatically, he thought of her comment just a little ago.
After a few minutes of being like this, he finally spoke, yelling through the sounds and terrible voices,
“I am sorry, Nancy. I am really sorry for how I treated you earlier, ever since the accident.”
As if on cue, the sounds stopped although the cries continued for a while, before dying down eventually too. Nancy’s face slowly rose from Robert’s chest, though it was not exactly turned to him. However, knowing that it was a sign that she was listening, Robert spoke, his voice softer now that the sounds had gone down,
“Umm it does embarrass me to say this, but I do admit that I was...I was mean with you, Nancy. Ever since the accident...and ever since you lost your eyesight.”
Nancy kept listening, but before Robert had the chance to say anymore, the sounds came again. The bombs began to fall again, one after another, each time stronger and deeper. The house started shaking again, stronger than before. Little did they know, little did they feel as they were preoccupied with each other’s presence, that the house above the cellar was slowly coming to an end, that the cellar wasn’t so far from danger either. And more importantly, that death was closer to them than they thought.
“Ever since you lost your eyesight, and you became completely dependent on me, I guess I grew sick with time . . . And instead of focusing on taking care of you and making sure you are always happy and trying to be by your side when you lost such a precious thing as your eyesight. . . I was selfish and I threw you away, blocked you out.”
His words were honest, and where did the honesty come from? Right from his heart, confessing what he could have never confessed to her if it weren’t that he felt their death approaching, but didn’t dare say so. Maybe, perhaps, he was just trying to comfort her and distract her from her probable death. But one thing was sure: that everything he said was sincere and true.
Nancy’s eyes would have spilled tears if they could, except that they couldn’t. Maybe the fear, perhaps the hurt, probably the emotions inside her. She had no reaction for just a few moments, before her arms were around Robert and she said, raising her voice between the sounds, bombings and screams,
“I never hated you. I always loved you. And if you had continued to treat me this way, if you had continued to throw me away, push me away, I would have loved you all the same. I can’t see you now, Robert, but the picture was always in my heart. I can’t even hear your voice clearly but I have heard your voice long enough that I treasured it so well and so close."
Robert simply hugged her, comforting her and using her warmth to comfort himself in those moments. They could feel the cellar’s ceiling cracking; the pebbles were already starting to fall. There was no hope to run away or to escape, they had but a few minutes to say their goodbyes, enjoy a few last moments and maybe, perhaps, probably, confess a few things.
“Do you forgive me, Nancy? Do you? Three months and I have been totally neglecting you . . . do you?” He whispered in her ears as he continued to hold her, and she whispered back,
“I never got upset at you to forgive you. But I am grateful that I lost my eyesight before I could ever see you give me a mean look or a weird stare, for I was afraid I might feel just a little tiny bit of resentment towards you.”
For a few minutes, the couple just continued to exchange those few words, full of meaning, full of love, sincerity and care. The sounds and bombings that surrounded them became no more, the screams and cries died away, and the pain in the heart was profoundly healed.
Crash. Crash. Crash.
And their whispers soon were gone too.
Nothing special about this story. Just some random ideas that I had in mind and a philosophical image of death turned into a story. XD Please let me know if you see the ideas a little distracted-I felt like I didn't fit in Nancy's and Robert's characters very well in the story and they kind of looked shallow. So any opinions would be great. ^^
This post has been edited by luv_kitty12: Sep 25 2012, 03:54 AM