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Chapter 9: Patrick Smith

My scythe tapped on the ground, the sound echoing in my ears as the forest began to fade. I found myself back at Rosalie’s room. She was sleeping, her breathing so peaceful, the colour in her face seemed to have slightly returned.

"I will keep you safe." I whisper fondly.

Her beauty left me stunned, even in her current state. I had to protect her, just as I would any soul. I would not let the churning deep feeling take over, for fear it would impact any rational plan against Lucy. I needed to remain The Reaper, a being who had lived since the dawn of time.

"I am just The Reaper." I remind myself.

Lucy was full of jealousy if there was one thing I mastered about humans. It was their emotions, I handled souls and I did my best to treat lost souls. Lucy wouldn’t be rational and whatever power Hades had given her would only make her more confidant and irrational. The only question left was how I would handle taking souls to the afterlife and protect Rosalie?

I couldn’t take her with me, she was alive. The gods will not meddle, though they should. I was on my own, Lucy was my problem. Rosalie stirred in her sleep, I looked at her fondly. What would I ever be to her?

"Just a being of dealth?" I question.

As if wanting to complicate my current problem, the bell started ringing. I had to leave Rosalie, reluctantly. I sighed, I am The Reaper after all. I tapped my scythe, taking in one last look at the sleeping Rosalie. Her peaceful face left me breathless, how can I feel this way and we are yet to know each other?

Ding. Ding. Ding.

"Can The Reaper feel love?" I question.

The scene I arrived out was not the usual, though I was unsure what I could say was a ‘usual’. A man in his thirty's lay on the concrete. A crowd surrounded him, the concrete stained red. His heart had already stopped, yet his soul was slow to exit.

Patrick Smith, aged thirty-six.

Slowly he raised and floated into the air. I quickly stepped forward and grounded him. He pushed away, fear written all over his face. He stared at his body and then back at me. I felt his sadness, the numb feeling that grew in him. The festering darkness that ate at his soul. I can see his tears as he felt he had failed his life. I felt everything. Slowly his memories settled into my mind.

"What the heck are you?!" He yells.

"I am The Grimm Reaper." I say calmly.

"So it worked this time?...I am dead?" Patrick smiles and pats himself all over.

"Yes." I confirm.

I rode my bike down my street, my black Labrador ran beside me. I was eleven and the sun was out still, so I ignored my mother calling me. She would put her hands on her hips and sigh with a smile on face every time I walked in just as the sun went down. I had no siblings, my parents thought I was enough. So my black Labrador Brian was my best friend. He went everywhere with me!

At the age of twenty I meet a girl, her name is Emma and we spend so many good times together. Eventually, I get on one knee and ask her the big question. She squeals a yes and we rush to tell our families. I can’t wait to spend my life with her. Her short pixie hair and fair skin remind me of a beautiful fae and I often call her this as a nickname.

I am standing in a hospital now, Emma smiles for a photo holding our daughter. She looks just like her mum and I am glad. I am so smitten with my family, nothing makes me happier. At the age of twenty-seven our son is born. This was the year the pain in my mind started. It clouded my mind, I struggled feeling anything and slowly I distanced myself from everyone. But every day I put on a fake smile for my kids.

Despite the internal pain and numbing cloud of darkness that wrapped itself around me. I wanted to feel again, I did. I just didn’t know how to fix it, I am a man I am not weak. But I was, I found myself in strangers beds. I regretted it every time, it never helped the darkness. Alcohol didn’t numb it either. My wife didn’t deserve it yet I did it anyway. Every day the pain got worse, I wanted to end my life. I was done.

I tried many times, but I never followed through. Until one day I climbed the huge flight of stairs of our apartment building and stood on the edge. The wind played in my hair, so peaceful. Finally, I leaned forward and the wind was around me.

I was out of Patrick’s memories, they were painful. I turned to him, I felt he was registering things now. I began the speech, which settled him more. Finally, I tapped for the door to appear, it pulled Patrick in just like it had with previous souls.

My heart broke for this man, the curse of depression had hit him and claimed him to early. I cannot judge him, he was not the first to lose a toxic battle. We step into my boat and although he is nervous, he is more content. He walked into the arch with no hesitation.

The bell was ringing again, I sighed.

Ding. Ding. Ding.

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