'owen is gone, and he is not coming back.'
you know that this is true.
it is a fact. a theory. an inexorable principle that will always be there to stare at you, and remind you that he is indeed gone. it never fails to tell you over and over again, be it when you look upon happy couples from the sidewalk, and the pavements that you two would have walked upon together, laughing and talking if he had come back. you can also see it in the eyes of your family and friends whenever you talk about him; alighted with sympathy, and sad smiles that make your heart squeeze, and your blood to boil at the same time.
you hold back tears as you understand, that the wraith that is owen will always linger in your mind, a shadow, a soul, a skeleton meant to haunt you forever. it is not meant to be, and whatever dreams that you have planned for the future, will now go unsaid. owen is in his grave in the middle east, perhaps even blasted to smithereens. he had just vanished, presumed dead. of course, the man was given an honorable send-off with an elaborate, but depressingly empty coffin.
his friends who have returned home are next to you, silently weeping as the coffin was slowly lowered into the grave. his family members are no better, siblings saying farewell to their brother, and parents realizing that this really is it; that their oldest boy is no more, but they must carry on, for jesse and angela still need them, even if they were both all grown up.
'i miss him,' one of them mutters, tears dripping down from his nose. ''i miss him so much.' it is a cadet, probably one owen had mentored back then. your bright green eyes swiveled towards him, feeling up with new emotion of your own. you touch a hand to his arm, in an attempt at comfort. you smile, a gentle, but sad, sad smile as you look at him.
you remember. memories of your time together. days spent in laughter and sunshine, when everything was naught but perfect-
quietly, your lips formed the words that resonated every waking fibre of your body, that made you want to cry tears that have long ran out. all you want to do was just go home, but you could not leave now.
so that you can burn this image, ignite a fire that will leave this image of death into ashes.
'i miss him too.'
the next eight years are almost a blur. there is always something to do, from visiting your father, raising your sisters, and most of all, carrying on your mother's legacy. it is an amalgam of the aftermath of your life, a life that you were previously reluctant to part with, but you are here now. you have learned how to live without owen, and it is the fact of his death that has kept you moving. owen would not have wanted you to stay sad, hell, he was always encouraging you to be happy, and to live your dreams.
-cheek pinching, words of encouragement. 'everything is going to be okay.'
owen is dead.
xxxxxand he is not coming back.
it is the memories, the lingering evanescent ghosts of love and loss, of things that had once been, and what could have been that trail your waking steps each time you even consider the notion of perhaps even finding someone else. there is that boy, that cute, adorable intern that liked to look at you when he thought that you were not looking. there is of course, some of her friends, who had other friends, who could also introduce you to new friends...
i don't want to move on.
are you sure?
the ringing of your doorbell, followed by insistent knocking raises you from your reveries. you do not think about the lost years as you rise from your seat, authentically puzzled at who would want to visit you. perhaps it is your sister, heck, perhaps it is even andrina coming to disturb you again, bringing all sorts of baubles in an attempt to make her melancholic older sister smile once more -
but you open the door, and all the eight years return to you. eight years of lost hope, coffins and fire, and the promise of a wedding hit you. you feel yourself begin to shake, the armor that you wore so proudly to the public, of steel and ice and graves, crumbling to dust at the mere sight of him.
your hand slaps his cheek hard, fingers raking skin and drawing blood. your eyes are wide, with shock and anger combined into one. you feel then and there, that everything that you have worked for is gone, in futile, as the belief that you have been using as yardstick is no more. because he is here, here in the flesh, a living (perhaps slightly shaky) creature.
you can see his own shock mirroring yours, but it is not as intense, more caught off guard by your sudden assault, but at the same time, it is as though he has expected this all along. he looks at you, his own eyes filled with emotion, and you notice that there is something missing about him. he is owen, but he is not your owen, but you did not care.
the ghosts of him in your head are mock harlqeuins compared to who you are looking at now. they painted him in color, filling in missing pieces of how you remembered him, but everything vanishes as you take him in, take the man into your arms once more, and that was it. tears streamline your face, tears from everything held back from the public, and you cry. you cry because there is no one else but him to see, and he is the one you have always trusted with your heart, raw and powerful, the exact thing that makes you you.
you weep. you weep as though it is your own funeral, and that there is no one there present but you. he holds you tightly, with you clinging to him like a demented old woman because you could barely stand. you look up at him, and you touched him, gently stroking skin, and feeling the hard, but telltale calciferous material of bone in your hands.
"owen?" you ask, a question and a statement, a fact that you were not so ready to believe so quickly.
he smiles, and he nods. your head spins, and your heart soars with hope. light filters in through the cracks, chasing away the shadows that lingered as his own mouth moves to form one syllable, that one syllable that makes you smile, makes you believe that perhaps there really is hope in this dying world, and that there is hope for you.