Halo

The rims of her once brilliant eyes were as red as the blood that trailed down one’s arm from a fleshy cut. She was so angry that she couldn’t scream, but she wanted to. I knew she wanted to. Still, there was nothing I could do. I couldn’t help myself, and I needed her to know that.

“Darling, you know I can’t do it,” I said curtly. She winced as a line of stress broke across the smoothness of her forehead. She clenched her hands into tight fists and hung them stiffly at her sides. She closed her eyes for a moment, allowing herself to think.

“You will do it,” she finally demanded, her voice seething with anger. She opened her eyes again, and it seemed that her pupils were now shaded in the same blood red haze that her rims were lined with. I could see how hard she had tried to suppress the anger that continued to torture her composure. It was unbearable to watch. Almost.

“Everything you’ve touched,” she began quietly, carefully, “has been ripped to pieces. Destroyed.” I opened my mouth to speak before she held up a pale finger to stop me. “You no longer have a place with us,” she said, her tone now laden with a calming menace. The unbreakable menace of control. Once she had gotten a hold of it, she couldn’t be stopped. “You won’t come back to see any of us, and I mean that. You won’t even bother to try to contact us.”

“You know I can’t do that,” I repeated again, my confidence depleting by the second as desperation washed over me.

“I’m deathly serious,” she said, her fists clenched even tighter. She closed her eyes for a second before opening them again. “And I promise that you won’t have the opportunity to damage us again.” I could see a flash of madness cross her face as she let out the faintest of smiles. A smile of genuine satisfaction.

“Do you really think she’ll listen to you?” I asked incredulously, throwing out as much ammo as I had left. “After 25 years, the woman still can’t put 50 miles between us. I’m her lifeblood.”

Silence filled the air. I could hear the sound of the wind whipping through the mountains as the sun disappeared overhead. The sky was of a charcoal hue, fixed with dark patches of cloud that continued to block out what light was left. I looked above to witness the swirling patterns in the sky, and then I heard her laugh.

“You are the stupidest man I have ever known,” she said with disgust, her eyes still as deep as roses as she continued to glare at me. “You don’t get it, do you?”

I looked at her and signaled for an explanation. I was already losing the battle, so I might as well have given in. Once she realized this, that same maniacal grin spread across her face.

“I’m the one with the power now,” she said. “And that means that we no longer need what you have. I don’t want you to flatter yourself into believing that what you gave us was valuable. No, what little you gave was absolutely worthless.”

The words stung me like a thousand bees swarming in for the attack. I caught the lump in my throat before I had the sanity to regain my composure to look back at her.

“Is that really what you want?” I asked, surrendering my last round of energy to this finale.

“It’s not what I want,” she said coldly, her eyes burning into mine. “It’s what’s best for them. I won’t allow you to hurt them again.”

I looked at her more closely this time, and the pieces of the puzzle had finally fallen into place. She was protecting them from me. It had never occurred to me that she would be that selfless, although I knew what she was capable of. It wasn’t easy watching over someone that you knew would one day ruin you. Much in the same way you had hurt the people she had loved. This was the quintessential beauty of revenge, and it couldn’t have been more justified than it was now. The sickening hatred in her eyes was meant solely for me. The numerous attempts she had made to fight the intoxicating hunger was horrifying to watch. I could see the bloodlust in her eyes as she scanned my face and caught all of the things she was looking for. The extremity of my suffering was the narcotic that fed to her addiction, and it satiated her pain. Pain that I had caused over and over again.

She waited for me to respond, and I could see a wary calmness wash over her as her fists unclenched and she dropped her shoulders. She had suddenly looked so tired.

“They’re yours,” I said a moment later, giving her the victory that had always belonged to her. She nodded and then stood there, her face unreadable. After a moment, she turned to make her way back. I looked at her as the gap of distance widened between us. And then she stopped.

“I’ve always loved you,” she said. “But I can’t ever forget what you’ve done.” Her voice was as soft as the wind that had brushed past my cheek a minute ago, all traces of warning replaced with numbing disappointment. She had suddenly reverted back to the little girl I had remembered all too well. After a moment, she cocked her head to the side to acknowledge me before turning back to walk away. “Happy Father’s Day,” she said. Before I had the chance to speak, she had already flitted off into the distance and disappeared from view.

And that was the end of it. For all of the things I had done in my life, I would remain foolish forever. So foolish, that my own daughter had rightfully taken my family away from me. It was the science of destiny and fate, and everything in between. And it was something that would stain my sanity as I walked back into the pit of my own darkness.

RTH

Songs:
David Bowie, Best of Bowie – Wild as the Wind
The Mars Volta, De-Loused in the Comatorium – Cicatriz ESP

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