Chapter 12: Heartbreak Story
Rosalie put a hand on my arm, as I told the story of my first heartbreak.
"It began over a century ago, I had come to collect her soul. Her family had not gathered around her, I suspected they feared catching her plague-like illness. Her beauty had entranced me, although I had only just found out her name in my head. I felt like I needed her. In that moment, she opened her beautiful eyes and gazed at me. She whispered to me to save her petty life.
I never hesitated, but I had never asked to save a life before. I asked the gods to save her, they accepted and granted my ask. I spent any time I had spare with her, the days seemed good. I felt brighter, I felt I had a somewhat life of my own. I thought I wanted the feeling I had always watched in the memories of those passed.
What I did not expect was for her to trick me and use me. She had worked out how to live forever. In doing so, she had connected herself to me and then, in the blink of an eye, she was gone. I could not search for her, she wasn’t a soul. Now she lives forever, but she has also had the help of Hades. She wants me back and I would not accept her.
I left some minor details out, but I knew it would be enough for Rosalie’s questions. I had never even told half the story to anyone. It was a box I had kept in my mind, so far away that I pushed even the worst memories of the passed souls on top of it. Because that story was mine and mine only. Rosalie sighed, she put her arms around and without a word hugged my now human body. I could feel her warmth, and it was a gesture I was unused to. I awkwardly attempted to put my arms around her.
The moment was interrupted as the bell rung once again. I am The Reaper, a human body could not change what I am. I said goodbye to Rosalie, she whispered a goodbye knowing only I could hear it. The world disappeared. I found myself in a room at an aged care home. A woman with snow white hair lay on the floor in front of me. Her TV was switched on to a game show channel and a hot cup of tea sat on her small wooden coffee table. I walked over to her body, getting my scythe ready to catch her soul.
Her details filtered into my mind. Ginger Ann Montgomery, eighty-seven years old. Her heart had given up, and she had been ready for a long time. Her memories were now filtering in my head. Her life playing like a video.
I stand at my father’s side, I didn’t want to say goodbye. Yet Mamma says he has to go to the sea. He brings the fish home and earns a paycheck, so we can put food on the table. My seven-year-old self is still upset. I wore a pink dress and black shoes that tapped on the concrete path as we walked home. Without a father. We didn’t know he wouldn’t return.
We found out when the ship never returned. It was tough. My mother remarried and had my brother. They doted on him. All I wanted was my father. The lack of a father affected my life. My brother’s father barely spoke to me. I was just burden.
I worked in a bar. Men would come in rowdy after a hard day at work. Sometimes they had marital issues, I would pour them a drink. They would put my tips down my tight fitting dress, I would do my makeup as if I were a model. I would get more tips this way. I would go home late and lay in my bed and I would wait for sleep to take me.
It wasn’t until one late night; I handed some drinks to a group of men. One approached me and he changed my life. Took me away from all the hands that constantly caressed my body without permission. He built us a life and put a beautiful ring on my finger. In return, I gave him a son to love. I took care of the cleaning and cooking.
I dressed myself for his return home after an interminable day at work. I cared for him until his dying breath. After that day, I had been ready to leave myself. I wanted to join my sweet husband wherever he was. The world was just not the same without him. My son never visited, and I was always alone.
Ginger’s soul lifted. As I left her memories. I caught her and ground her next to me. She stared at me, looking me up and down.
"Your looking handsome death." She grinned.
Whispering how if death looked that good, how she wished she had died sooner. A smile cracked in the corners of my lips as I tapped my scythe for the door to appear. Ginger and I walked through it and we took my boat to the arch. The very last doorway she would walk through before she would join her husband.
When ginger walked through the door to her afterlife. I returned to the earth doorway. But the door wouldn’t let me through. My mind raced as it stood solid, ignoring any of my commands. A panicked thought raced in my mind.