www.whyville.net Dec 12, 2010 Weekly Issue

Senior Times Writer

Burn Survivors: Part 7

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Michelle's POV

The billowing fog swirled about me. It seemed to dance like the most graceful ballerina to exist, gently dragging its hands across my skin.

It was cold, to say the least. Bone chilling. Scream inducing.

But I liked it.

It wasn't until the mist stopped the hypnotic dance that I noticed the tall figure in the middle of it. The silhouette didn't move, it just stood still. Before it stood the most elegant white grand piano, with the mist swirling about the legs.

There was no doubt in my mind that this was my Jacob.

His body slumped in the stand, hands gently gliding over the keys, but not applying pressure. Yet, the most dazzling melody rang true and clear through the air. The music wasn't from the piano . . . He was singing. As his words pierced the thick air, there was light. Red light, like looking at the sun through closed eyelids. From muffled murmurs to comprehensible phrases, the light got brighter . . . So bright, so painfully bright.

I found myself at his side, fingers delicately gliding over the ivory. His hand moved from the keys and towards mine, and his voice gently brushed away the silence. "Look at me, my darling."

I willingly tilted my head up to stare into his eyes, which glimmered as they had in his lifetime, if not even more. He broke the eye contact, sitting at the bench. "Please," he murmured, "Sit with me for a moment. I learned your favorite song . . . Just for you, Michelle. I've been working on it for months."

The familiar melody filled the mist; the notes danced in the air like butterflies. "Care to sing along?" Jacob's eyes met mine for a moment, just a split second, as his silver smile peeked through his lips. "I only said it 'cause I mean it . . . I only mean it, 'cause it's true . . . So don't you doubt what I've been dreamin', 'cause it fills me up and holds me close, whenever I'm without you . . ." It was like I was underwater; I watched the words float up into the air and burst . . .

Tears flowed from the corners of my eyes. "Michelle," he whispered. "Don't cry, my angel. I love you, I really really do. I chose this song because it's your favorite, and I want you to know that I needed you . . . So much."

At that moment, Jacob was gone. The music was still playing as I opened my eyes. "Michelle!" Melissa moaned. I couldn't look at her. I closed my eyes, trying to will myself back to sleep. I wanted Jacob. I wanted him so badly. The music still played. "Where . . . Is that mystifying melody coming from?" I asked her softly. Her eyes watered over. "Jacob recorded this for you . . . A whole CD of your favorites, and the first was your very most cherished song. There's an audio of him speaking at the end, if you'd like to ever hear his voice again."

I closed my eyes. For the longest time, I didn't say a word. I inhaled, concentrating on each breath. "He's dead, isn't he?" I asked, breaking the thick silence. "No," she sighed. "But he's never going to wake up . . . They're waiting for you to say your official goodbyes before they take him off of life support."

Just then, the doctor walked in. He looked at me and smiled. "Good morning, Michelle!" he said gently. I couldn't even bear a smile. "Please take me to see him."

The doctor sighed, knowing exactly who I spoke of. "If you don't, I'll go looking for him myself. Please."

Within seconds, he had me in a wheelchair, and Melissa was pushing me around. "I want to walk, I wanted to surprise him . . . Just one last time." She smiled, painfully, and helped me up. We walked to the elevator and went up two floors, where we were met by my mother. She gasped, arms flung around me. I couldn't feel the warmth of her hug. It was a cold flame. She couldn't say a word because of where I was going. She just grabbed my hand. "I'm here," she whispered. I knew exactly what she meant. After my heart broke today, she'd help me put together the broken pieces.

Sometimes, a bandage isn't good enough . . . It's just not.

Jacob had the last room in the corridor, and it stretched out before me. The 100 feet seemed like 100 miles as my head begged my feet to turn around and go back. I wouldn't now, not this close to him. The door creaked open, and Jacob was alone.

"We couldn't let him die alone, Michelle," Melissa whispered in my ear. The chair by his bed was unoccupied, and I gladly took it, reaching over to his hand.

"Jacob," I moaned softly. His fingers were so still, yet I still kept a tight grip. "There's so much to say, my love . . . I guess I can only truly say that I love you like no other . . . And I'd give anything to see your beautiful eyes and smile one more time, or hear your wonderful laugh . . . Or even just your voice, because you light up my world. It's too dark now, so dark . . ."

The doctor had slipped in somewhere in my little speech. "Is everyone ready?" she asked sympathetically. "No, but I don't have a choice, do I?" I murmured. I lay a gentle kiss upon my beloved's forehead, and then there was some beeping . . . And the dreaded never-ending tone.

Death's POV

It's been fifteen years now that Jacob has been blowing Michelle kisses from Heaven every night. Michelle has married and had children of her own . . . They light up her world now, in place of her dearest Jacob. Her oldest son's name is Jacob Alexander Wiggins.

But there's still a dark planet in Michelle's world, still named Jacob Mills.

Jacob and I have become very good friends. He watches each day as Michelle falls asleep, as she wakes up, and as she kisses her children each morning and night. He is jealous that they're not his own, yet he is very happy that Michelle has found enough peace to move on. He loves her even more than when he left her, you see. His love and admiration protects her each day, and I have promised to take her gently when the time comes.

His piano sits in her living room, and nobody's hands have touched it since it was moved there. "An old friend of mine left it to me when he moved away," she responds when her children ask why she doesn't play, and she stares off into space. Every day, she goes to slide her fingers over the ivory keys, and stops just a fraction of an inch short.

Nobody will ever be able to play like Jacob Mills . . . Not to Michelle, and certainly not to myself.

Author's Note: Does anybody off of the top of their head know Michelle's favorite song? And by off of the top of their head, I mean it. No Google! I'm just curious to see who's heard this song. There's no prize, just because I know some of you guys are best friends with Google.

Peace, love, and hair-grease,


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