How to Save a Life
Feeling the cold ground beneath his feet, the soft crunch of delicate herbs, Morrison began making the potion in a desperate attempt to revive his beautiful wife, now cold to the touch, from the unforgiving grave. His wife only used her lips for the truth, her voice for kindness, her ears for compassion, her hands for charity, and her heart for love. Her beauty wasn’t based on just her looks, but her mentality. The smell of roses flooded his nostrils as he ran around the house, listing off the herbs he needed to come up with the perfect combination to bring back his stiff wife, from the darkness of death.
Morrison caressed the cold face of his love Theresa. She had her soul stolen by a silent killer. No amount of potions would heal her of her illness. They told Morrison to give up, they begged him to let her go. No, even after death, he could not give up on the love of his life.
He grabbed jar after jar, ignoring the clanking sounds they made. He dug his hands in to a jar of lilies and for the moment, enjoyed the feeling of the petals swimming all around his fingers. Sunflower seeds, dead bees, dill, parsley, yellow leaves, the names of ingredients were just buzzing through his head, giving him a nauseated feeling as he crammed them into his potion bottle. A raven’s feather, child’s fears, dog’s tear, bear claw, and a pig’s ear. He mixed and stirred the pungent smelling concoction until it turned from grass green to florescent pink.
“This is it,” Morrison whispered. “It’s time to bring back my sweet Theresa.” He walked over to his wife, the herbs overpowering the scent of decaying skin that used to smell of lavender. A single tear slid down from his warm butterscotch eyes, followed by another one, and another one. Soon, a steady stream of salty tears slid down his pale face. He was releasing the sadness and sorrow that was held inside of him for all this time. He let out a heart wrenching wail. One would ask, is it better to rack your body with noisy sobs and let the world know of your pain, or to slowly release your emotion within yourself with silent tears?
He failed to see the loose stones on his cobblestone floor and stumbled. The bottle started to fall, like someone does for the one they love. The glowing pink bottle landed with a crash on the hard floor, leaving shattered remains. The pink liquid that had such beauty now blending in with the dirty floor. It was now turning into a sickly green potion. Every muscle in his body knotted up as the realization flooded in. The potion spread across the floor towards Morrison like a predator crawling in for its kill. The potion engulfed Morrison’s hand with a piercing pain. His pain was an icy wind chocking the breath from his lungs, it was making a noose around his neck. His heart constricted in its wake, not sure if it should go on beating.
Morrison’s body started to burn. His hair grew rapidly, it turned grey with oncoming age. His bones now ached with every single step. Morrison limped across the room, grabbing at anything to give him support. He quickly began working on an antidote for his fast aging curse as his spine began to arch. His vision became a blurry, his nose blind to scent as his body prepared for rest. He began waddling back to his wife to lay his body down next to her. He chugged the antidote and felt his body rush back to his younger form. His senses came running back as he felt his health return.
Morrison jumped up from the table. He ran to fix his potion as he feared to look at the clock, thinking it would move faster. It was a good thing he planned on having to make it twice. The ingredients started swimming in his head again. Lilies, sunflower seeds, dead bees, dill, parsley, yellow leaves. All these ingredients swimming in his mind, it was all he was thinking about, it was all he could think about. A raven’s feather, child’s fears, dog’s tears, bear claw, and a pig’s ear. He vigorously mixed the concoction until it had its florescent pink color.
He turned to look at his wife and opened her mouth. The rotting smell in her mouth no longer repelled him. As he prayed for his miracle to come true, he dripped in the repaired pink potion. Theresa’s body began to violently shake. Pale skin, now tan. Her flat, dull colored hair, now curly and a glossy black. Theresa opened her milky white eyes as they shimmered back to green. She opened her full lips, leaned into Morrison and rasped, “I knew you wouldn’t give up on me.”
2009 was Morrison’s finest year of his life. He was finally getting to marry the love of his life Theresa. They were only together for six months before Morrison popped the question. All of their friends and family made it known that they thought they were nuttier than a fruit cake, but they knew they were soul mates.
Morrison never meant to fall in love, but he did. From the first time he talked to Theresa, he knew there was something so “true” about the person sitting across from him that he didn’t have to act like a higher class version of himself. He knew he could be the true him. Morrison knew that other people looked at their relationship at laughed at him for being so shallow. Morrison would just tell himself over and over that they know nothing, they know nothing about my past, and they know nothing about my journey to find love. Morrison always believed in love, he just never believed there was one person for him, until Theresa.
One month after their wedding there life was flipped upside down. It would never be the same again. Theresa started getting sick, they thought it was the flu. She had stomach pain, loss of appetite, vomiting, and a fever. Who wouldn’t think she had the flu? One night her fever was so bad Morrison claimed that enough was enough, they were going to the hospital. The staff was telling him things he didn’t understand. They were telling him she only had a few months to live.
How? How, it was all he could think. They must have been able to read his mind because they stated this happened on their honeymoon. Morrison couldn’t even begin to comprehend. Theresa had Ebola. There was no treatment, they were telling him that they couldn’t do anything. Morrison was in shock.
He remembered a conversation they had before about death, it was a topic Morrison hated, but Theresa was trying to teach him not to be scared. Theresa told him that death is a body, a shadow, it lurks in the dark. Death crawls under beds of all ages, sitting there, waiting. She would tell him that you would know when your time is near, because you would feel the chill of his icy breath as it would tickle the back of your neck. She would tell him that even though this was true, you can’t stop living your life, you have to keep swimming, and you can’t sit and fear the inevitable.
Morrison told himself that he didn’t care what the doctors said, he would find a cure. He went to see his wife, who had such a beauty that it still caught his breath. Morrison was trying so hard not to break, but Theresa just kept saying how cold she was, he knew death was under her bed, and he was going to reach up and grab her. He closed his eyes as she whispered “Please, don’t leave me.” Everything ended that night.
He cried until there was nothing left inside but a raw emptiness that nibbles at his insides like a hungry rat. His irises were threaded scarlet and his eyeballs hung heavy in their sockets. His whole body hung limp like each limb weighed twice as much as it had before and just moving it about was a slow, painful effort. The sun still shone in the sky, but not for him, the birds sung in bursts of melody, but not for him, for him there was no beauty left in the world.