In celebration of Valentine’s day, I present to you this love story. Trigger Warning: blood
We had been there most of the afternoon, the first nice day of the summer, just me and my one true love. We laughed as we fed the ducks in the small pond at the edge of our blanket. It was our secret hideaway, just off the main road behind his parents’ house, but far enough away from all the things that made life in our town stressful. The sun peaked through the trees in a way I only thought possible in the movies. Aiden had planned an ideal day for the two of us, a cute little picnic, complete with wicker basket and napkins that matched the basket lining. He’d made adorable cucumber sandwiches and carrot sticks with ranch dip. Everything was so flawless it was like it was plucked directly from a book of fairy tales. We brought his father’s rowboat with us so that we could paddle around our little pond. Aiden glazed at me with his grey-blue eyes as I looked for the little fish that swam alongside us, and splashed me a little with the paddles.
“This day just couldn’t be more wonderful, Natalia,” He whispered to me. He docked the boat near our blanket where we were going to have our picnic. He was more right than he could have imagined. Nothing could be more perfect, not him, not this day, nothing.
After our meal, we fell asleep laughing in the lazy sunshine of that early summer day. I awoke under the stars, the full moon half covered by wispy clouds, yet most of the stars were visible. It was purely breath-taking, they way that the moon reflected the trees into our little lake. A carbon copy of our beautiful landscape suspended in clear black water. Even the ducks didn’t want to disturb it as they swam in circles around the edges, so their ripples were small by the time they reached the picturesque reflection.
I dare not move for fear of waking him, but the gentle breezes of June crept slowly across my bare legs, where my cotton skirt was not covering. I sat up slowly looking for my shoes. They lay about three feet away close to the pond edge. It was as I slid the black plastic of my flip-flops on to my feet, staring at Aiden peacefully sleeping on the blue and gray plaid blanket that I knew he would have to die.
It was too perfect, the way his hair slightly covered his face, showing only part of his closed eyelids, the wrinkled black t-shirt, the pale light of the moon mixed with the trees shadowing over his body. I wanted to remember him that way. He had to stay this way forever.
Aiden didn’t move when I lay back down next to him. I gently kissed him. Then sat up again and reached into the picnic basket looking for the knife he had used to cut the carrot sticks. It wasn’t as big as I had hoped, but I would have to make do. I rubbed the cold metal against his face, he flinched slightly, as if a cold breeze had touched him, but he didn’t awaken. I was slightly disappointed by this. I almost wanted him to be awake when I started. I held the blade to the moonlight, trying to catch my reflection in it, I couldn’t. Maybe I didn’t have a reflection anymore. I wasn’t as pure and beautiful as our landscape, but Aiden would have seen my beauty. He always did, that was part of the reason I had to keep him just as he was on that cool summer night.
Slowly, so he wouldn’t awaken, I pulled his arm toward me, palm up. I traced the knife down his arm, softly, tracing my path. I ran my free hand ran through Aiden’s hair. Then I got to work, I stabbed the small knife into his arm dragging it down his light blue vein. He awoke with a start.
“What the hell!” He yelled, trying to pull his arm away from me, but my grip was too tight around his wrist. I shifted so I could kneel on one hand while I reached for the other. “Natalia, stop, what are you doing?!”
I stared deep into his eyes as he begged me. I tried to explain to him, but there was no way he would really ever understand.
“It has to be this way, Aiden,” I whispered leaning close to him, his blood covering my skirt. “I’m saving you, saving our perfection. We won’t be perfect unless it ends right now.”
“No, Natalia,” was all he could say, trying to pull his hands from under my knees. A look crossed his face I had never seen before. My beloved Aiden looked scared. I had never taken into consideration his feelings on my decision. I had assumed he would take it like everything else we did together. This time was different, he looked terrified of me. My heart shattered into pieces. I didn’t want Aiden to be afraid of me.
“I’ll be coming with you, Aiden,” I whispered into his ear. “There is no need to be afraid. I’m following you into the dark.”
Aiden’s pale face looked up at me; he mouthed “No,” one last time, “please don’t.” And then he faded into the unconsciousness. The sun began to rise as I moved Aiden’s limp body, and went to wash my hands in the clear lake. A thin golden light covered the entire landscape. If I listened hard enough, I could hear the early morning traffic on the main road. It would still be hours before anyone would come to look for us. I had time to finish my task, to be with my Aiden forever. I lay back next to him on the bloody blanket. His eyes still held the fear I hoped would subside. I shut his eyelids with the greatest of care, hiding the panic. He looked like my perfect Aiden again, sleeping soundly in the hazy light of early morning.
I curled myself in his arms. Then using the knife, I traced the same path on my arms as Aiden’s. I felt his pain, his panic. I understood the look on his face. Through the pain and leaking blood, I repeated the processes with my other arm. I became light headed fairly quickly. In the moments before I walked into the dark, I wrapped Aiden’s arm around me. We would live happily in our second life.