The Ashen Embrace-2)

James first wandered into Emily’s life when he took a job, at his brother-in-law’s prompting, at a local pet food manufacturer. At a low point in his life, James moved his three kids and himself into his mother’s home on a short term basis to regroup and re-focus.

The job paid well but it was far from his element. Days dragged on, as did his sanity. And then one day she appeared. Physically, she ran circles around any other female specimen on planet Earth. Completely out of his league, he made small talk and though secretly yearning to be her man, the odds were against him.

Going against all his instincts, by chance one afternoon he asked this beautiful girl out, only as friends is how he phrased it. And as if every star aligned and the very globe itself shifted whilst a chorus of angels in the heavens burst into a glorious anthem, the two thirty-somethings became forever fused together. They just fit, and it was like they had been missing each other their entire lives. Both confessing feelings that they were always meant to be as one permeated the air and circled them in an eternal embrace of aligned beauty and dare said perfection.

Deep, pure conversation encapsulated one another. The kind of dialogue that surpasses the typical getting-to-know-you dance; this was the stuff that connected one’s soul and swooned you into a deep sigh of delirium.

Honesties were laid out. He confessed getting lost in his life, losing focus of work and subsequently moving in with his mother. Her confession included a list a horrible exes and a recent abortion.

Their closeness expanded and moments turned into days, and days into weeks. Whispers of a life together became reality and within weeks, the engagement turned into a walk down the aisle in front of a handful of family members. Extravagance wasn’t needed; only their eternal bond was relevant.

The honeymoon phase wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns as one may expect but they loved being with each other, no matter what the challenge. She encouraged him greatly in his career and he did what he could do assist her in blending with the family and the trials that arose between her and the children.

Distance began to creep in between them, at the hands of the bottle. The highs of vacations and the intimacy of one on one began to fade into regular bouts of anger and resentment, him triggered and her becoming beligerent and violent.

The cocktail of her damaged past, his unknowledge of how to be the husband she wanted him to be, her struggles to fit in to the family and the alcohol dependancy became too much for her one night. With razor in hand and tears in her eyes, she penetrated her flesh in long, deep lacerations until the crimson flowed.

About thirty five years earlier…


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