Till Death Do Us Part

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Jason slumped over the cluttered kitchen table, his head cradled in his hands. His fingers furiously rubbed his tired eyes. The past week had felt like a terrible nightmare. It all started when his wife of ten years lost her battle with lung cancer earlier in the week. Not only did Jason have to take care of the viewing and funeral, he also had the painful task of consoling their only daughter. Melissa was only five years old, too young to comprehend what was really happening. She didn’t realize that mommy was never coming back, and Jason couldn’t think of a better way to tell her than by saying, “Mommy’s with the angels now.” Using his fatherly instincts, Jason held his daughter every night that week after she woke up calling out for her mother. After putting her back to bed, Jason cried also, not only because he too missed his wife, but for his daughter who would never get to know her. Standing up, Jason left the kitchen, and walked down the hall to his daughter’s room. Silently pushing the door open, Jason stood in the doorway and watched quietly as his daughter peacefully slept the night away. After five minutes of watching his daughter sleep, he left her bedroom and went across the hall into his own. Sitting on the edge of his bed, Jason remembered miserably the new problem that had arose a day or two after his wife’s death.

As soon as Jason began to come to terms with the death of his wife, he was informed by his doctor that he had terminal skin cancer. This information shocked him. It was as if the cancer that had finished off his wife decided to take over his body, and finish him off as well. Jason couldn’t bear the news, and it sent him into a depression. He hadn’t told anyone yet because he couldn’t bring himself to tell his family so soon after his wife’s death. As Jason thought back to the moment when the doctor informed him of his terminal cancer, a wave of sadness and anger overtook him. Reaching under his bed, he pulled out a tackle box that contained a pistol he had bought years ago for protection. Punching in the right combination, Jason opened the box and stared at the weapon. To him it was his only way out of the pit he had dug himself into. With the medical bills piling up, the funeral costs, and his overwhelming sadness, all Jason wanted was to be happy with his wife again. He picked up the pistol, and realized how cold it was. Soon he would be cold just like the pistol was now, but the pistol would be warm with life. It was as if they were trading places if only for a little while. With the thought of seeing his wife again, Jason placed the pistol to his temple. Just as he was about to pull the trigger, ending everything, the image of his sleeping daughter entered his mind. If he killed himself he would be leaving her all alone, and he suddenly realized he couldn’t bring himself to it. Not only could he not let his daughter lose both her parents in the same week, he couldn’t let her lose them both ever. No substitution parents could replace all the love that he had for his daughter, which was more love now that he had already lost the love of his life. Melissa was all Jason had left of his wife, and he couldn’t abandon her when she needed him now more than ever. Removing the pistol from his temple, he placed it back in the tackle box. Locked it back up, and slipped it back under his bed.

First assignment for Creative Writing: write a two page story on death or love or both. This is my first idea, the other idea I had was the man found out his wife cheated on him so he kills her, he kills their daughter cause shes not his kid, and then he blows his brains out. To me that seemed more like a murder story though than death, so I stuck with this one.

-Casey

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