• J. Jamal

Window/Pain (Snippet)

Updated: Jan 6

'Til death do us part has a whole new meaning


I guess their night is over, she’s back home now. He took her to her favorite spot, Giuliano’s, over on Spray Street and 7th. Yea, the one with the red tables out front. I loved their cannolis and iced tea. I could always count on her to find room for dessert whenever I ordered it. She’d just smile and reach for the fork, and of course I’d yield and let her have as much as she’d like. This is the first time anyone’s come here. He didn’t order a cannoli like I would’ve. Not to mention the fact that he was about 30 minutes late. I’d never be late. Nonetheless, she seems...happy. Happy as someone settling could look, anyway.

If we’re being honest here, she can’t be happy. Nobody could be happy without their soulmate. Nobody could be happy knowing the one they love is still out there, but never to return to their arms again. I know she’s hurting. Her eyes say it all. She misses me. She wishes he was me. No matter how great he ends up being, he’ll never fill the hole in her heart. And that’s okay. That’s what I’m here for. That’s what I came back for. Hold tight, baby girl. We’re gonna get that smile back. I won’t always be on the outside Looking in, I won’t be out here pressed against your windowpane. I’ll be back in your arms again, I have to. I’ll find a way.

Peering through the blinds, I see her hugging and holding him. Nothing out of the ordinary here. She always was the affectionate one. I lost count of the nights she’d greet me at the door with hugs and kisses, as if she hadn’t seen me for months. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t miss them. How could I not? For 9 years, they were mine. All mine. I never had to worry about another man because I could feel all of her love residing in me. I never had to long for love, she kept me good and full. And I appreciated it....only problem is, I should have returned it. Selfishly, I enjoyed the fruits of being loved, rather than gifting her the feeling of somebody loving her back. I knew she deserved better, I knew she could do better. I guess I just never thought she’d try to. Our souls were connected, meant to forever attach to one another. Our minds just had other plans.

I was her first kiss...now she’s kissing him. He pulled her into his arms, and forced his lips onto hers, he had to. She’d never kiss anyone other than me. It’s gotta be the alcohol. Sure, sharing dessert is one thing. A hug is one thing. Even holding hands, that’s just one thing. But kissing him? That’s....she...she looks like she wanted to. This time, she pulled him in, and cupped his cheeks like she’d done to me many times before. She didn’t just kiss him, she kissed him again. And again. And again. I...I can’t stay here anymore. I can’t see this anymore. I’ve got to get out of....

“Don’t make a habit of watching through the windows. You’re gonna want to be around her the least you possibly can. Otherwise, you’ll drive yourself insane.” A voice startles me, and a woman steps out of the shadows to speak to me. But I’m in the shadows. How can she see me? He said nobody could see me but Joy. “Got it, but how can you...” she silences me with a finger to my lips “He was my husband for six years. Before I...well, let’s just say I’ve spent the last 3 years sentenced to the same pain you’re feeling right now.” My eyes tell the story, as they sink due to the realization that this is no dream. “Andrea Maxwell. Deceased September 7th, 2017. Nice to meet you.”


Let me take you back to the beginning...or the end, depending on your side of the story. She woke up, while I was getting ready to go to work, and started the morning as she had everything morning we started together. A kiss to the forehead, a sleepy smile, and a playful attempt at pulling me back in bed. This was our thing. The only time in the day where nobody existed but her and I. I caved momentarily, before getting out of bed to continue going through the process of starting my day, just as I do everyday. I should’ve stayed. I wish I’d let her win.

On the way out of the door, she’s extra needy, clinging to me til the last possible second. I’d never experienced this before her: someone being fully and completely infatuated with you, to the point where they cherish every millisecond they get with you. Somebody absolutely, positively, 100%...geeked about being with you. That’s the way she loved me and she wasn’t afraid to do so. I wish I had her confidence.

I loved her just the same, really I did. I just...didn’t know how to express it. I’d never been one for shows of emotion, love was a foreign language to me for as long as I could remember. A language that before her, I never really had any intention of learning. But she deserved the same love that she gave, and I knew I owed that to her. I guess I just always thought I’d have time to learn how, rather than making the time to learn how. Obviously as fate would have it, I’d have no time at all.

From there, I jumped in the car, like I always did. Took off on my way to work, like I always did. Took my usual route, like I always did. Nothing out of the ordinary, nothing suspicious, nothing different in any way. Just...what I always did. It felt like a regular day, it started like a regular day. Until it wasn’t.

I pay close attention to detail, in all things. Order and consistency are unmatched and necessary. So much can go wrong if you let your guard down for a single solitary second. In the blink of an eye. And when the eyes opened again, it was followed by the loudest bang I’ve ever heard. And then, darkness.

Absolute silence and a stillness took over at this point. Almost serene. Calm even. I opened my eyes and I felt no pain. Surrounded by white lights and more of that stillness, I walked around, looking for somebody, anybody to tell me how I got here and how I could get back to my car or just get home. I walked for what seemed like an eternity. The blinding, piercing white light gave way to the silhouette of the person I thought could answer all of my questions.

“Excuse me. I’m wondering if you could help me. I don’t know how long I’ve been here, but I’m guessing it’s been a minute since my accident since I feel just fine now. So, if you could get me the doctor, I’ll just be on my way, I can sign whatever discharge papers you guys need, I’d just...really like to get home.” The look on that man’s face left me just as confused as I assume he was. “Okaaay, well, can you at least point me to a phone so I can call my girl? Then, she can come sign the discharge papers, I guess, if that’s how you guys do it.”

It felt like his voice echoed through my very existence as he asked, “discharge papers?” He started down a long hallway, which began to illuminate as I followed closely behind me, stopping abruptly in front of a large window. “In your case, I’m afraid we’re a bit too far past that,” he said before pointing me toward the window and heading back down the hall. On the other side of this window, the love of my life was crying out in agony, praying to God that this wasn’t real. I should’ve been praying with her. Instead, I was staring in confusion at my lifeless body laying on the table in front of her.

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