3 Years Ago
‘Today you shoved her… so not too many questions were asked as to what happened and how she ended up here today. But, who is to say that tomorrow you won’t punch the living daylights out of her? She’s going to brush it off as an accident; something that was beyond your control, but you know, it won’t be something beyond your control dammit. How will you live with yourself? How will you even be able to look at yourself if something were to happen to her because of you?’
The weight of the words looping through his mind was weighing him down more than the guilt coursing through his veins. Waiting at the ER was never a fun experience for anybody, but waiting there with so much guilt and even more unanswerable questions about questionable scenarios made this one of the worst trips yet for him.
After hours of waiting, he finally saw her heading out towards him with a smile of reassurance, which did help him feel relieved. Despite the incidents over the past few weeks, he couldn’t quite understand how she was always able to know exactly what to say or do to calm him down. For a moment he wondered if they sold pills or meds like that. This was the 3rd or 4th time, he couldn’t remember any longer and personally he was getting tired of having to go through this repetitive cycle of unpredictable behavior and unforeseen consequences. It was time to make a decision, or at least make THE decision…the one that had been rolling around in his head for the last few weeks, maybe even months if he was being honest with himself. He knew things weren’t getting better, in fact, in his opinion they were getting far worse. He couldn’t seem to keep his temper in check, anything minor seemed to set him off; it triggered so much anger and rage that sometimes he didn’t even recognize who he was anymore.
Then she stepped into his line of sight, and what he saw sent a shiver down his spine and had his heart sinking. Her smile no longer registered, all he saw was the sling and he couldn’t help but look down and away from her. He could feel the tears in his eyes, as he realized that his fears were slowly being realized. He clamped his jaws tight in an effort to rein in the tears. But it was now crystal clear to him as to what he had to do next. This was going to be the hardest thing he’d ever done in his entire life, and he was quite certain once everything was done with he would never be the same; and, only time was a witness and testament to the truth in his thoughts.
Back to the Present
“Max! MAX! Can you hear me?” a voice shouted out.
‘Hey man, who is this scene-stealer? And why on Earth are you yelling? Can you not see I’m kinda busy at the moment trying to make sure she sees me.’
Max is looking towards Mia and notices that Mia sees him and is walking towards him with a huge smile on her face. His excitement growing, the only thought that comes to his mind is,
‘Oh man yes she saw me! Wait, oh no, I’m all stinky, bloody and sweaty after this fight. I can’t even hug her, think about it, who would want to when you’re at your grossest state?! Do I have time to shower? No she’s already headed my way. Oh well…’
“MAX! How many fingers am I holding up Max?! Max…” more commands and shouts follow.
‘Dude seriously stop with the hollering. And wait what? Did Mia speed-walk or something? How’d she get so close so fast? She’s extending her hand out to me, with a smile to die for. Wow she looks radiant…well yeah it’s Mia she always looks radiant.’
Mia extends her hand out to him, her smile growing and glowing with warmth, and the softness of her brown eyes filling the space between them with a sense of familiarity. A familiarity filling Max with the warmth of love, security and calm that Mia’s mere presence always seemed to do once upon a time. Mia opened her mouth as though ready to say something to Max when…
“MAX! C’mon dammit, how many fingers am I holding up?! Can you hear me?!”
Max is ready to rip this person’s head off. He literally yells the words,
“SHUT UP AND GET OUTTA MY FACE!”
Only thing is, the guy yelling at him doesn’t seem to hear a thing Max is saying and continues with his questions. Max tries again, he can hear himself scream the words, but for some reason the guy can’t hear him.
Right before blinking his eyes he sees the guy yell,
And right after blinking his eyes his vision is filled with Mia, extending her hand out and talking to him.
“Max” she says softly.
Her voice seems to fill the void he’d manage to forget every time he got into that fight ring…the one that’s been haunting him for 5 whole years.
“Max…sweetie, take my hand.” She looks at him and indicates with her eyes.
Max is nothing short of confused. While he is delighted Mia is here, it feels like 2 different lives are messing with his head and playing simultaneously.
‘What? Mia…what are you doing here? Aren’t you supposed to be at your own wedding?” he asks out of confusion
“Don’t get me wrong, I love that you’re here and I love you, but…what are you doing here?” he stumbles out.
He realizes what he’s said and his eyes widen in shock.
“Okay, I didn’t mean for all of that to come tumbling out as fast as it did. Sorry… well, I mean I’m not sorry for loving you but sorry for springing it on you literally in my second sentence. You know what I meant, I mean…” he kept backtracking.
“Aww come on Mia, help.” He groaned and stopped talking.
All he got in response was a smile. He saw Mia open her mouth to start talking.
He blinked his eyes and was taken back to the ring, and he saw Mia crouching over him saying,
“Max…No no MAX!”
‘Wait a second, what? How did her voice get manly?! What the hell..’
He fluttered his eyes rapidly and he was taken back to where it was just the two of them. There’s confusion clouding his face and eyes…. and then it hits him. He feels like the lightning rod struck by a bolt of lightning and he realizes exactly what is going on. It was time, sunset was almost here and he was about to ride off into the sunset; and the only person he ever wanted to ride off into the sunset with was standing right before him holding out her hand and asking him to take it. It didn’t matter if it was real or not; he was tired of holding on. What was he supposed to hold on for? And what was he supposed to hold on to? There was nothing left to anchor him, there was nothing left for him…not in a world that turned it’s back on him faster than the blink of an eye with such speed and force that it still hurt to breathe when he thought about it.
He hears them calling out to him again, but he knows where he’s going now. He looks at Mia’s face, her beautiful soulful smile, the only light that always guided him, looks at her outstretched hand and without hesitation or doubt grasps her hand and lets her lead him.