She knew not of the many secrets that he held but she did know of hers. True to herself and her heart, she held him close to her bosom. Afraid to lose and afraid to be lost are two simple things that can throw a woman behind bars.
Sadly, she was beginning to go down that path. He had left in fear of his own mistakes. But, what he hadn’t known was that by allowing fear to wash over, he was creating the biggest mistake he had yet to make.
Now, hanging from the branch before her was a noose. She had taken all afternoon to ensure its perfection. Braiding the rope with tears of sadness and pain, it became a powerful weapon. It held her hope, her love, and hopefully soon her very life.
Taking a naked step through the dead Fall leaves that littered the floor around the tree, she made her way to the stool that rested below death’s door. With eyes dried, she calmly looked out from behind the stool, admiring the soft glow as the sun began its descent.
Certain that none would hear nor see her helpless body traverse from this life to the next, she stepped up onto the stool where the rope dangled before her. The breeze softly blew the rough threads in the air to brush against her delicate salty skin.
Then, a bird called out singing a gentle sweet song. Listening to the delicate melody, she attempted to cry again but nothing left her eyes.
Now was the time.
Reaching out, she grabbed hold of the noose. With one last look through death’s door, she took a ragged breath.
Upon closing her eyes, a single tear in both eyes clouded her last sight of the world around her as she leapt up to plunge her head through the ropes choking grasp.
A dull pain spread throughout her body. The noose didn’t catch her; instead, she landed face first on the grass below.
Looking up, she saw the wind lift the leaf litter around her and swirl it about like a tornado with her as the eye of its chaos. Confused, she searched around her for an answer. And there, lying beside her, was the branch that held the noose. It had broken off from the tree as she jumped to meet her untimely death.
Scrambling to where it lay, she picked it up and when her eyes looked through the circle of the noose, she bore an incredible sight:
There he was alive and well. Drinking away his life, he cared not for a single soul, not even his own. Then, the image changed and there she was alive and well. Raising two kids with another man, she cared for her one true secret. And as if the woman in the noose knew of her own curious eyes, she looked up at her despaired self and raised a glass in honor of her as she patted a pocket that rested atop her heart.
With one swig from her glass, the image was gone, and, once again, she was alone under the tree. The leaves had stopped and the sun was gone. All was still but her beating heart. As the night grew colder, the rhythm began to steady. Soon, she stood and in the moonlight, she went home to where a familiar stranger awaited her swift arrival.
© 2015 Jessica Santos