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Memoirs of a Post Modern America Chapter 3 "Mornings" (part 3)

posted 10/14/2008 10:49:46 PM |
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Hours later, the building is clear and you drag yourself to your truck back at the station. The memories of today and those of a year ago are racing through your mind. You wonder how this happened again. This was supposed to be a safe area, far from the attacks now happening on an almost daily basis in cities across the country. As you trudge up the stairs to your front door, you see firewood stacked up next to the front porch. It would be freezing inside, but the temperature outside was no match for the cold sensation in your heart; and today it felt more than appropriate. You collapse into the living room recliner, your breath escaping in little clouds of steam. Turning on the TV and gazing expressionlessly through it, you pull the handle on the side of the chair, drifting into a fitful sleep…
The late night news was on when you had awakened and looked at the couch. There she was, soundly sleeping. She had always looked like an angel when she slept, divinely peaceful, with the hint of a smile across her face. You eased out of your chair and walked over to her, slowly slipping your arms under her body to carry her to bed. "After the terrorist attack at the John Herald Theatre last week…" As you turned to look at the television, the room had suddenly gotten dark and you realized it was sound of the evening news at the hospital. You had opened your eyes to see the grim pictures of the theatre, completely destroyed. "Officials are confirming 315 dead at this time, but are still working on confirming the identities of more than half the bodies…" You had clamped your eyes shut to keep the tears from falling, but you couldn't stop the sobs from escaping… You awake yet again with a start, and reach to your face to feel your cheeks cold and slightly damp. It's almost 1 am and the late night news is on. "This is the second terrorist attack in this small community and the National Guard has instated martial law upon the city to quell the riots. The people want to know who will protect them…" You glance to the empty couch and for a second, almost lose all composure. Easing out of your chair, you limp to your bedroom, making note of how sore your lower back is. As you stop by the bed to remove your shoes, you look at the empty sheets and slowly turn and head back out the front door. It's snowing again, and you don your hood before grabbing the axe from next to the door and walking around to the pile of wood. Picking up a large piece, you swing, striking through to the other side. You pause and look up at the sparkling white wall of snow blowing fiercely. A woodpecker in the distance is steadily clicking away, struggling for a late night meal.
Click, click, click… The projector had been going at it for half an hour. Slides of partially singed clothing, melted watches, and unrecognizable bodies were going across the screen, each with a number at the bottom. It had been three weeks since the attack on the theatre and the small town investigators were overwhelmed with missing person's reports. Those who had filed a report had first been allowed into the morgues to search for signs of their loved ones, but as time passed, authorities were forced to bury the unidentified in numerically marked graves. Those still missing someone were advised to watch the slides of anything recognizable in order to piece together the catalogued evidence into an identity. Your mind knew she was gone, but your heart refused to believe. So there you sat, your mind waiting for some sign of closure, yet your heart desiring hope for just one more day. You had thought that maybe you should leave. Let it be and never know. Maybe one day she would just pop into your life again just as she had not so long ago. But then there was a picture of a ring, next to it a body covered in a sheet. Once again, you had choked back the tears as you wrote down the number and walked to the table… "I'm so sorry sir…"
You grab an armload of wood, walking up the stairs and to the kitchen. She had always liked it extra warm at night. You preferred it cold with lots of blankets, but now you stack the stove high making sure to leave enough for tomorrow morning. Looking up from the flames and into the living room, you saw her lying on the couch, smiling sleepily. Those green eyes were just as captivating as day one. You stare back at the flames and think to yourself that except for the mornings, maybe the pain was worth still having her this close…

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Memoirs of a Post Modern America Chapter 3 "Mornings" (part 3)