Kelli J. Gavin: May the Night Take Me

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May the Night Take Me

By Kelli J Gavin 

I can’t do this anymore. I live my life waiting. Waiting for my next meal or for it to rain. Waiting to find something to catch the rain in. Hoping it will be today. I wait to hopefully smell coffee brewing again one day, but until then, I hold my mug and remember a time when drinking the first cup each morning was the best part of my day. I wait for the hunger to subside, and for that pain deep in my gut to lessen. I wait for all of this to end. But will it? Will it ever be any better? The only way out is death. I pray some nights I will die in my sleep. Yet I continue to rise at dawn each new day.

I used to wait for Carrie to return. She must have been overcome by the road gangs. I wished that would happen to me. Not that I could have taken her place, more so that I would have been with her and benefited from the same fate. A fate that meant I wouldn’t be here anymore. Waking up each morning and taking my first conscious breath, I wish for death. It is the only thing I wish for anymore. 

Carrie and I had been together for ten years before the invasion. Ten years is never enough time when you are with the love of your life. She made me feel like a better man, one that could and would succeed because Carrie was by my side. My wife, my cheerleader, the lover of my soul. 

When I ripped my leg open on a fence I was attempting to jump over, Carrie said she would go in search of medication, antibiotics, anything that could help me. She wouldn’t look at me, but kissed me hard and told me she loved me. Loved me so much it hurt. As I lay in that bed wincing from the pain in my leg, I didn’t ask her to promise she would return to me. 

The first six months, I believed she was coming back. The next two years, I let my thoughts get the best of me. Carrie left me, lied about getting medication and never had any plans of returning. How can it be true? If she even felt an ounce of what I have always felt for her, she would never be able to live separate from me. I was knitted to her and she to me. At least that is what I have convinced myself. Something must have happened to her.

My leg has never fully healed, yet I was able to rid myself of infection. The scarring is still painful to the touch and my pronounced shuffle of my weakened leg announces my arrival at our community meetings. The community meetings I now run. I am in charge. A small group of 37 which was once a large group of 94. Sickness raged and many have given up. Given up in the night. Given up on the hope a new dawn sometimes brings. For now I will stay. I will lead this hodgepodge group. I will direct and mediate. Until we decide what to do next. But then, I will pray again that the night will take me.

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