If Only

It’s all my fault.

He sat on the hard floor, leaning against the cold wall, his mind drowning on mixed emotions. His breathing was heavy and slow, almost as if he was breathing on thin air. But as far as he knew, he just wanted it to happen.

He wanted to die.

He wanted so much to cry, to scream…to do anything at all. Yet it was of no use. There was an indescribable amount of loneliness in the air, like a piano playing a soft, sad tune. He couldn’t understand anything that was happening. As far as he knew, the minute he realized what he had done, what he had failed to do, everything was over. His life was over.

You promised, didn’t you? He remembered that voice…that sweet, mellifluous voice. The voice that always calmed him, that always soothed him. But now…it was killing him to remember that voice…that person.

You promised to protect me.

He shook his head. No, it couldn’t be. His breathing quickened its pace, like he was running and running as fast as he could yet he could not find his destination. He tried to calm down, he tried so badly. He wanted some peace of mind even for just one single second, but it was useless. The memory of the event kept repeating and repeating in his mind over and over again. He wanted to have the power to stop it. Yet he couldn’t. Somehow, every single thing reminded him of it.

Why, he thought. Why did it have to happen?

For the past days he simply could not get over it. Why, of all people, did it have to be her? Was this the punishment heaven laid down for all his sins? If he could, he would go back through time, be one second earlier, and save her. If only…it was possible.

Yet it wasn’t.

Everything happens for a reason.

Damn that saying. He wanted to laugh. Everything happens for a reason. For him, it was plain bull. It was a complete lie, a shield for every single bad thing a person did. Yet she believed in that saying. He didn’t know exactly why, but she just did. She would never let anything make her blame herself—or anyone, for that matter—for anything bad that had happened. It irked him that someone like her could be so idealistic…so…pure.

That was why he loved her so much. And yet…and yet…

It happened.

He wasn’t there. He had something he needed to do, and he couldn’t possibly postpone it for her. I’ll wait for you, she said. He told her to go home that instant, yet she didn’t. She wanted to spend the evening outside, watching the stars like they used to, because it had been ages since they last did that, and she missed it so badly. She missed him so badly.

He knew something was wrong the moment he heard his phone ring and he answered it. She was speaking in a panicked voice. He had not heard her use that tone before. There was mingled fear and panic in her voice…something he didn’t like very much.

Please…help…me…

He drove like hell to come to her. He cursed at every car in the road that day. Why did they have to pick such a bad time to drive and cause traffic? Losing his patience, he took off, leaving his two-months-old car to run. She needed him…and it was all that mattered to him.

Yet it was too late. Too late to save her…too late for him to tell her how much he loved her. He saw it, yes, but it was too late for him to save her. He stopped dead in his tracks as he saw him, that damned man, stab her. The police said she received too many blows…even if he stopped the last one, she would definitely die. Yet…there was still hope. If only…if only he came a second earlier. If only he received that call a second earlier…if only he finished what he needed to do a second earlier…perhaps it didn’t happen.

But then…what difference could he make? He wasn’t skilled, he wasn’t athletic…he was just a boy who loved that murdered girl. And yet…and yet…

It was because of him that she was dead. He blamed himself for it…blamed himself so much that it pained him to feel guilty and still be alive despite it. He hated himself. He took a promise when they were ten that he would protect her. Now…was he able to?

He still sat on that hard floor. He looked dead, yet he wasn’t. Only his heart was dead, for the sole person who ever loved him was dead.

The regrets still flood him. The tears still won’t come to him. Acceptance is so far away…perhaps there would never be a time when he would leave his small space and let anything in. His mind still wandered on to that moment, on to her face…on to the special times he shared with her…he lost her, and it was his entire fault.

If only…

-This was written ages ago—according to my computer, this was last edited on May 5, 2006. Wow, it’s been so long. Edited for the sakes of…well, three years’ time of sitting in my computer hard drive with no editing whatsoever. 🙂 Happy Christmas to all.

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