Fragile Things

Moments are fragile things. Time passes like the shift of sands in the dome of an hour glass. For Susan, time was a treasure. Her smile glistened like gold in the desert sun, and the warmth of her heart glimmered in the shields of her eyes.

Today, in the hug of harsh winds and the kiss of painted snow, they don’t glisten anymore.
I married her right out of high school. Life is a cruel teacher in the classroom of ignorant youth. At the tender age of seventeen the world is a stage. The sky is the limit when tragedy is the director.

As I hold her hand in the hospital bed, she sleeps. She hasn’t said a word in over a year. I was tired that evening. I had a really hard day in the office. The boss was really busting my breaks because I hadn’t finished the monthly quarters when the phone rang. I’m very good at my job. I don’t get behind in my work and I don’t like outside distractions.

“Jimmy, why haven’t you finished these statements? Our clients wait. I know life hasn’t always been fair, but our clients don’t care. They pay for figures and figures are what they are going to get this afternoon, or you are out! Do you hear me….I can’t afford to lose the Scholtz account! Don’t be stupid, Jimmy! Get it finished!”

Right before my deadline, Susan phoned my office.

“Hurry home Jimmy, there is an emergency. I’m scared.”
I went out of my office, and old Boss Baker was not far behind.

“If you walk out that door, Jimmy, without those figures, don’t bother coming back!”

I walked out the door, signing my own financial death warrant.

When I got home, Susan stepped into my arms as if they were
comfortable sheets.

“What is it, what’s wrong?”

“I’m pregnant, Jimmy. We’re going to be parents.”

Moments are fragile things. I had the bronze vase in my hands before her words registered in my mind. I smashed the vase into the side of her delicate temple and blossoms of blood faded down the ivory garden of her cheeks.

I threw myself into her, smashing hundreds of family photos in our wake. A glistening piece of glass stuck through the center of the coffee table. I impaled her fragile body with the ease in which a thorn stems a rose.

Now she sleeps. Looking at her in the hospital bed my heart aches. It’s been one year since I struck my wife and as I drape the pillow over her face, she doesn’t even fight back.
I listen to the ebb and flow of the respirator as my wife slips into the sleep of the departed.

People are fragile things.
Fragile things always break.

Fragile Things

John Braxton  Sparks

Morehead, United States

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Artist's Description

A man makes an impulsive decision.

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