Charles Pendelton
      © 2008 Marty Langdon
Chapter 32 (Epilogue)

Three blocks away the winter raven lies.

He has fallen to one side, and his tiny heart beats no more.
There is a movement inside his belly where vile little things crawl.
One by one, they make their ascent out a warm throat.

From his mouth, they drop to the stark ground and blister.

I fear it has begun. . .

“Dark Monday”

The following morning, mom and Ray packed up the car, and we left for Ontario;
much to my chagrin and disappointment, I found that there would be no escaping
this time. I thought it was only going to be for a few days, but it turned out to be for
an entire week. In all the shuffling around preparing myself for this trip to hell, could
you believe I forgot to jot down Harmony’s phone number? Since I only called it a few
times, I didn’t find it necessary to memorize. This would become a tragic mistake.

As we were about a mile down the road,
I felt a worrisome feeling of increased anxiety.

I think we should turn around, I uttered nervously. I think we should go back now.
But they kept ignoring me like I wasn't there. Considering there was no radio on, I
assumed they were having a lover’s spat and would soon reconcile their differences.

“Why won't you answer me?” I uttered nervously at the rear-view mirror
that was watching my every move as Ramon cleared his throat and my
mother sat motionlessly. In the back seat, I sat like a wax museum statue
that was being transported in a vehicle with too much heat.

Together they kept silent and refused to say a word while I sat there
feeling like I was on a Holocaust train being escorted to Auschwitz.

Mom must have been getting a cold because she kept blowing her nose.

Looking out the car window, I watched every frame go by at half speed,
which could only be attributed to the mushroom experience. They had
changed me. Knowing the future was uncertain, I felt myself slipping into
obscurity, while the feeling within my spirit was pure terror. I was getting
further and further from Harmony, but I had to be close to her to survive.

We had never been apart. . .

From the day I found her up until now,
we had never really left each other’s side.

Feeling my soul dropping through the floor like a falling elevator,
I grabbed
onto the armrest. As I slowly began to lose control of my emotions,
I covered
my eyes with the crook of my arm and wept in total desperation.

Four hours into the car ride, I realized they were both acting very unusual.
Mother had not smoked one cigarette. Ray had not uttered one single word,
and it began to feel as if I were now in an automobile with two strangers.

What is going on here? I thought. Is this going to be another marriage

ending badly? One day we will show them what true love is all about, and
then maybe they’ll be able to figure out what they’ve been doing wrong.

I am only on this trip at Harmony’s request, and she was so insistent.

Why couldn’t I stay with her again?
Why was she pushing me away?
Why did she want to be alone?

All these thoughts floated around in my head like dust particles,
so they could not be sorted out and put into any type of order.

Why wouldn’t she let me take care of her as I’d been doing for the
past three weeks? Why was everything changing when she needed me
the most? What have I done that she no longer wishes to see me?

Together we could weather the storm. I just know it.

Although this bug she had was a real persistent one, I
pleaded with her
on numerous occasions to see a doctor.

“Without medicine, you're not going to get better anytime soon.”

“There is nothing they can do for me.”

“Don't ever say that. There is always something they can do.

Halfway through this vacation, if you can call it that, I began to withdraw. Like
an addict in need of a fix, I was becoming mentally unsound. There was no
doubt about it; if I did not get back home soon, I would not be able to last much
longer like this. Aside from the physical aches and pains, I would assess had
come from an intense longing, I was becoming very confused and distraught.

Along the way, this had progressed into pure panic accompanied by a feeling
of complete unbridled terror. Unable to do anything, I found myself agonizing
over it until, at last, I was back in the gentle arms of my baby once more.

                                My beautiful angel, I have so much to tell you.

Even though it snowed here every day, it did nothing but torment me, for, in my heart,
I was alone with them. While the powers that be were inscribing my fate, I decided I
should just try to calm down and make the best of a bad situation. Not knowing that
the very essence of my existence would be displaced once we arrived home.

Like a shattered vase, there would be no reconstructing my remains.

I have only one fond memory of this trip, which was during the ride.
Somewhere in the midst of it all, there was a huge industrial factory blowing
endless clouds of smoke into the open air. Its long neck reaching up into the 
heavens seemed to be manufacturing its own clouds. If I didn't know any
better, I would have to say it was magnificent. Due to the wind that was
blowing in only one direction, the billowing mass that was released into 
the clear blue sky formed a horizontal tube that stretched off into the
distance as far as my eyes could see. I am not sure that a camera could
have done it justice, but a painting, mind you. Now that would have made 
it sensational. For some odd reason, I didn't factor in the chemical vapors
or the air pollution it was creating. Neither did I pause to think about the 
harmful carcinogens being emitted nor the ozone layer being depleted.
I only saw its majestic beauty on an exquisite canvas created by God to
withstand the test of time. Once there, we settled into our hotel room. 

It was only then that my mother decided to have a smoke fest. She would
chain smoke cigarette after cigarette until I thought I would faint. At that
moment, I wondered how this man could drive for nearly ten hours without
having to rest. Indeed, there was something very wrong here.

I will not elaborate on this trip because I do not wish to go there again.
I do not want to think about it, nor do I care to reminisce. The only thing
I can say is that it was more painful than anything I had yet to experience.

I picked up so many trinkets for Harmony/Timmy
and was overjoyed at the prospect of leaving.

                                                                               Pg 233

Tomorrow, we leave for home. I fell asleep at around 9:30.

During this time, I dreamt I was in a mansion. An enormous house that went on for miles.
Wow, I thought, this is the life. No one could imagine how wonderful it was. Every room in
its vintage decor emanated a quiet splendor that I could never have put together on my own.

The antique bathrooms and winding restrooms that were incorporated into the massive
structure were somehow connected to several underground train stations. Occasionally,
I would exit the shower and find myself hiding from commuters looking to relieve themselves
after a hard day's work. It always made me feel so out of place that I began to wonder if it
was really mine after all or if it was some weird kind of delusion. Truthfully, it was unlike
anything ever shown to me, for it was so elaborate and nostalgic that I considered myself
blessed to be the proprietor of such a demesne. The bedrooms, the kitchens, the dining
areas, and the wine cellars would surely require another chapter of writing.

The grand estate that encompassed the land was awe inspiring.
Then after several years, everything started to change.

The dwelling had become antiquated. Everything was decaying rapidly, and
I could not comprehend why. Nothing was broken or damaged, just frail and
timeworn. I was aimlessly wandering the grounds when workers arrived to
tear it down. They were holding me back as I was screaming hysterically
while man made machines began tearing up countless miles of my world.

“It is a dangerous place to be,” said one of the workers. “You are not safe here.”

“But this is all I have,” I screamed, like a deranged patient being restrained.

As the sea smoke came in off the foreboding lake, I found myself lost in the wavering
mist. A caliginous gloom so thick, it was like walking in ghastly clouds.
Realizing that
I was no longer being constrained by man, I ran headlong into the thickening brume
falling into a crevasse that had no end.

I awoke covered in sweat but relieved. There was nothing to worry about.

As I reflected back on the old mansion, I began to feel unsettled. Something
was wrong, but I didn’t know what. That feeling of nostalgia and change
imparted in me a new worry. I couldn’t keep still. I needed to put on the
light. As I turned it on, I felt my body tremble as I whimpered aloud.
Within a few minutes my mother awoke and arose from the bed.

“Is everything okay?” she asked in a tired voice.

I shook my head but needed a moment to speak.
“I’m worried about Harmony.”

“Come here, baby,” she uttered in a tone so frighteningly real
I moved over to embrace her.

My heart punching my rib cage like I ate a raw
sausage and was awaiting the final outcome.

“Is Harmony okay, mom?” There was no answer.

When my mom went into the bathroom, I got up and walked
over. I do not know why, but I got up and listened. I heard
a mild sobbing from that bathroom, and my world froze.

Oh no, I thought. Oh God in Heaven, no.

I actually thought about throwing myself from the hotel window

but was afraid of the end result. My mind was swimming in a
pool of unsettled torment, and my breathing became shuttered.

It’s okay, buddy, I said about a thousand times.
And then I said it again before I cried again.

The truth, no matter how terrible it may be, will always be honest.

I allowed my brain to torture me for the rest of that night. How I wished
could have just been a bully pummeling the living shit out of me and, the
day, continuing the repertoire of eluding whoever it was in the schoolyard.

As we rode home in the car, the silence was deafening.

Five hours into the car ride, I needed to smell my mother’s cigarette smoke.
I needed to feel that nausea of normalcy. That ill feeling I hated so much to
please tell me everything was going to be okay.

“Don’t you need to have a cigarette, mom?”
All she said was, “No.”

I simply bowed my head gracefully and allowed it to happen again.
Yes, I thought to myself, like a frog who had mistakenly hopped
into a vat of sulfuric acid, everything is going to be just fine.

                                                                               Pg 234

When we returned home, I immediately noticed Harmony’s car was gone. I figured
she was probably out running errands somewhere and would be pulling up soon.

On the dining room table, mom scoured through a pile of letters. One of which
was addressed to me from Harmony. It appeared our mail had been brought in
by Mrs. Papilloni, who left it there in a neat little stack.

I guess Harmony knew my mother wouldn’t open the letter because she never
opened my mail and would hand it to me like she always did. There would be
no reason for her to start opening them now. I looked at the envelope and
found myself overflowing with joy.

I ran up to my bedroom and could not wait to read what was inside it.

Slamming the bedroom door shut before locking it,
I can remember uttering the following lines. . .

“Everything is fine, right? Everything is good?
Yeah, everything is perfect. We have nothing to worry about.”

All the while convincing myself into thinking that perhaps she was feeling better
and had planned something wonderful for my return. My heart was racing with
anticipation, for I somehow knew I would be safe in her loving arms once more
within the hour. At least, that's what I chose to believe anyway.

As I pulled the letter out of the envelope, I was elated.

The sweet smell of her favorite perfume emanating into the air found my nostrils.
My heart exploded with glee and apprehension at the same time. I was baffled by
her erratic behavior, which would have caused major implications had my mother
decided to open it first. As the letter was revealed, I saw the impression of her lips
in the form of a ruby red kiss on the upper right-hand corner of the page and two
makeshift hearts in the bottom corners that almost looked like a child drew them.

The letter read as follows:

My dearest love, I am so sick. I can barely move my legs,
and my arms are weak. My complexion has become pallid,
and my spirit sad. I am dying. I did not want to alarm you,
but I find I have no other choice now than to tell you.

Please be strong and know that I wanted you forever.
I thought I could beat this, Charlie. *I really did*

In time, you would have been my husband. (If you still
had love for me, then.) You were wonderful to me. No
one has ever treated me as warm and as kind as you,
but the time has come for me to say goodbye.

                                                                               Pg 235

I was diagnosed with cancer last year and found out last month
that it has spread to my pancreas. For a time, it went into remission,
and the doctors told me I should have a positive outlook on life.

I really tried, my love, but I cannot put you through this
any longer,
and there is no way I can survive on my own anymore. My mother
and father have returned to the states
and are taking good care
of me, so you need not worry.
I feel I may not have much longer.

I do have, but one wish for you, my little prince.

If you cannot fulfill my one wish, then you never loved me at all.

My wish is that you do not follow me. Where I am going you can
not go. Not now. I will watch over you and protect you if I can.

Promise me you will not do anything foolish to hurt yourself.

Promise me.

If you do, then we will be separated in death.

I know this is difficult, but please try to understand and do
worry, my love. God will call upon you when He is ready,
and I will be right here waiting for you.

P.S. - It's okay if you find someone else to love.
          I understand. It is your right.
          You'll always be my one and only.

                  Love forever - Harmony

Once Cupid was our friend. He pulled back on his bow to release
a flurry of love that continues to revolve around the earth to this
very day. Such angelic bliss was ours for the taking, and it is sad
when I come to realize that only a handful of people shall ever
come to experience it again.

Now, the days and nights of contentment and joy will be replaced
with indescribable misery to the point of suicidal rage, for I have
been filled with poison arrows, and the light within me that once
burned so bright is slowly growing dim.

If you can imagine how much I loved her,
then you're not even close.

After reading the letter, I ran to her house as though I were
being chased by demons. I tried to open the door, but it
was locked, so I reached into my pocket for the key.

As I stepped inside, I saw with my own two eyes there was nothing there.

In slow motion, the key fell from my hand, hitting the dull linoleum tiles
with such a dead sound I thought it stuck to the floor. Standing there
in a catatonic haze, I felt my entire body succumbing to shock. Like
an incision had been made in my chest and my heart had suddenly
been yanked out. The blood drained from my face. It was over.

The house was now nothing more than a hollow shell, and there was
not one thing in that whole entire dwelling to remind me of Harmony.

Just the cold emptiness of lost dreams
and one pink plastic Rainbow hanger.

She had been erased.

For a second, everything seemed to stop, and I lost my balance.
I was too numb to cry. As I looked around, I honestly thought I
might be dreaming. I trembled as I walked up those stairs and into
her room. Upon seeing the red rug and nothing else, I collapsed.

My thoughts swirled in confusion, and I needed her so bad that I
felt I might actually die. It was all gone, and all I had left was a tiny
picture of her. I never thought it would end. I didn't think it could.

                                                                               Pg 236

I could not even begin to describe the feeling I felt at that very moment.
It was despair in its purest form, encapsulated in grief beyond that of
human understanding. It is the darkest and loneliest feeling a human
being can ever begin to experience, and there is no darker place than
that of complete and utter abandonment.

It felt as though the lights had permanently gone out in my universe.
It was the beginning of Dark Monday.

Like I had eaten from the tree of life to become a weed of death and was
being hewn down and trampled upon. Indeed, I had knowingly sampled the
forbidden fruit and was now cursed to walk the earth forever without her.

It was a fate worse than death, and I knew at that very moment what
it felt like to be cast out of Heaven. It aches to the very core of reason.

From that point on, school, which I had almost begun to embrace, would become nothing more
than a prison term. I distanced myself from everyone, including my parents, and pondered this
cruel fate. It got to the point where I had to refrain from looking out my window, for every time
I saw that house, I saw a graveyard. I saw her dying in that house while I was so far away.

                                      How alone she must have felt.
                                Probably worse than I feel right now.

                              Reparata and The Delrons - I'm nobody's baby now

I asked God again and again and again,
why couldn't you have given me the cancer?
Why did my angel have to die?
Why do you hate me so much, God?

Tell me why!

Can anyone out there understand what it's like to lose everything?
I pray you never know. What hurts the most is when I come to the
realization that I have to replace her. You can replace objects and
repair things, but a woman as wonderful as Harmony can never
be replaced. Nor can my life ever be mended.

When the impassioned cries turned to wailing, I buried my face deep into
my pillow and screamed till the shattered dreams within the numbness of
my own brain displaced my emotions, and all was calm again.

Truth be told, in any other period of time I would
have been committed to an insane asylum.

Maybe I should have been.

             The Magic Circle - She means all the world to me

                                               Every morning upon waking,
                                 I would look out my bedroom window and weep.

                                            The New Colony Six - Can't you see me cry

Please, God, kill me. I shouted, and I cried, but I could never quite
come to terms with it. Was what we did so bad you had to take her
from me? I would have given my life for her and everything in it,
and one day the world would have understood this love of ours.

Are you listening to me? Why won't you hear me?

I then realized in all this horror,
maybe there was no one there either.

                                                                               Pg 237

The most wonderful place in the whole wide world turned into something
so dark and dreadful I went out of my mind. It was becoming difficult to
understand people when they spoke to me because the words were no
longer being filtered properly, and the only thing I saw when I looked
out my doorway were the memories we shared, slowly dying.

                                              The new breed - Paint my windows gray

Using a roll of duct tape, I completely covered my bedroom window,
whereby confining myself to seclusion. There I would weep for hours on
end. I knew my life was over at that moment, and I felt so horrified and
frightened of everyone and everything around me. The mere thought of
not going over there anymore to see my angel had me stricken with such
a deep affliction I wasn't sure I would be able to make it through the night.

The very thought of having to change direction and go somewhere else,
after all we've been through vexed me to the point of rending my own flesh.

It wasn't real.
It couldn't be.
If there was a God out there,
it couldn't be.

I needed to go back to that house, and I needed her to be there
I needed this to be just a bad dream. I needed us to be
happy again,
but happiness and laughter left with Harmony.

Cutaways - Now that you're gone

Everything I once held dear had been taken from
me and smashed
. I don't know who I am anymore.

I feel so lost without you, my
precious angel.

So uncertain of everyone around me.
Why must I be the one to live?

In the end, mom decided to move away, so we took up residence in Annadale. It was
during the spring of 1975, to be exact, that we left New Dorp. Mom and Ray were
planning to wed because my mother didn't want to live in sin, and considering that
she hadn't gone to church since middle school, I really didn't think it was about
doing the right thing. What surprised me the most is what she unwittingly did to
me at the wedding. Of all the songs in the history of musical literature and modern-
day composers, can you guess which one she chose for her wedding song?

"We've Only Just Begun" by The Carpenters.

The shock emblazoned on my face was like being hit with a cricket bat. There was no
coming back from that one. My eyes widened as I hurried to find my way to the restroom.
Concealing myself in a stall, I clasped my hands to my head like it was a champagne cork
that would pop under pressure; and that was nervous breakdown number twelve.

I suppose you could say it was a case of poetic justice.

I remember wanting to go to the hospital but refusing to reveal my condition until after
the festivities had ended and a new day had risen. I wasn't going to bring derision upon
her sacred hour. She just wanted to celebrate the most wonderful day of her life with the
man she loved, and I just wanted the chain holding the chandelier to snap and crush me.

Of all the sneaky, underhanded moves, I thought, before realizing she didn't have
a solitary clue of what she just did. So now, I couldn't even be angry with her;
and that seemed to hurt more than anything else.

When I returned from the hospital, I was heavily sedated. It was going to be a long
road to recovery, and I was simply going to have to grin and bear it. The new kids
seemed to like me and always came around, but on the inside of my hollow shell,
there was nothing there.

Every photograph I saw
made me think of Harmony, and every game I played
made me feel like the
last person I ever wanted to be.

I was so lost.

Less than a month went by after moving to our new dwelling,
did I hear Mother in the kitchen
sifting through the evening paper.

“Oh, no... Charlie,” she said in a choked-
up voice.
“Harmony passed away last night.”

My blood turned cold, and the onset of nightmares and torments, plague
me to this very day. “She was so nice, and she was only twenty two years
old.” Silently, I went upstairs to my room and cried inconsolably. Feeling
I was losing my mind, I released a blood-curdling scream inside my head
of such intensity it raised the hairs on my neck.

It is sad for me to say there is no time machine nor Aladdin's lamp that could
send me back into her arms. Nothing could free my soul from the torment that
longed to extinguish the tiny flame that still burned brightly in my heart.

As I was dwelling upon our love and all the time we spent together, a song
came over the AM dial. A song that would take me to the very essence of
all anguish in my darkest and most frightening hour. It was a song by David
Ruffin called, My Whole World Ended. I thought it was a brand new song
because I didn't hear it until that very moment, and right there and then, I felt
like Judas Iscariot before the hanging. I pleaded to God to let this all be a bad
dream. That I would learn from it, but all He wanted to do was persecute me.

David Ruffin - My whole world ended (The moment you left me)

Why was I so hated?
And what did I do that was so terrible it could not be forgiven?

I then came to the realization I had been cursed by God.

All because I fell in love and
decided to care for someone?
That's your reason to punish me for the rest of my life?

Because another human being found it in her heart to love me?
Is that really so wrong?

Please, I cried aloud, don't do this to me.
It was like salt being ground into a wound.

Such exquisite torment for someone so young.

What was I going to do now?

                                                                               Pg 238

As I sit in another time, typing from a modern-day computer, I find
my eyes still produce the same salty tears they did over thirty years ago.

My stomach has awoken and is growling, desperately trying to digest
itself as I, again, begin to weep uncontrollably. Why did I have to open
that door? Everything was going just fine, but I had to go back. 

I unearthed her because she needed to live again.

She should never have died in the first place, so I decided
to go back. I went back to breathe life into her one last time.

I feel she deserves at least that.

To live on in the hearts and minds of others who will
carry her spirit with them as they read this book. . .

                                                                      *Our book*

I needed to feel her hand in mine. Her warm embrace. Those beautiful innocent
eyes, exposing the true fragility of my soul. I needed to see you again, and now
I'm sick again. Harmony, my dearest love, you will forever be my weakness. 

                                           Midnight Shift - She's gone far away

Sitting at this desk, I feel I am shackled to my own private nightmare.
I have everything I need, but nothing is worth any value because I'm alone.
Gazing into the mirror of lost time, I fear I am surrounded by demons.

One night in my torment, I thought about going over to her house and just lying
there in the darkness. Maybe she would come to me and free me somehow from
the unremitting anguish which had burrowed its way into my heart, but I knew
that if I went into that house again, I would not be leaving sane.

Toward the end of April, a small box arrived in the mail for me. It had been
readdressed by Mrs. Papilloni to reflect our new mailing address, and so
Mother brought it upstairs to my room. She questions me about it, and I tell
her maybe it's from Timmy. “Okay,” she said, and we let it go at that.

Carefully, I opened the box with a very small screwdriver and pulled the letter
out. Upon doing so, something fell out of a tissue and bounced under my bed.
It went all the way back by the headboard, and almost down the shaft where
the missing register was. It was Harmony's peace ring, and I came undone
as I squeezed it ever so tightly in my hand. My universe was rapidly being
consumed by the same black hole I recall from the mushroom experience.

Pg 239

Inside this small box were pages to a letter that had been
folded up and stapled together. The first paragraph is all
I can reveal to you, and this I do with much hesitation.

Please don't be angry with me for leaving you, Charlie. This
is the last thing I could ever want. I waited and am sad you
have not replied back to me. Have you forgotten me so soon?

“No baby, I would never forget you.” I blurted out in horror,
before realizing I was pleading my case to four empty walls.

Her words had fallen on my heartstrings, tearing at
my soul, which yearned to escape this horrible world.

A world that afflicted it with great sorrow.

There is no way to explain, in any words, or logical form, that
feeling of detachment. The feeling of sheer helplessness that
came from trying to understand the degree of this madness.

As I read on, it became obvious to me that her brother followed
his own heart in doing the unthinkable. No return address was
ever affixed to the original envelope that had been sent to my
earlier place of residence.

As you can tell by the handwriting, I am not writing this,
my brother, for I can no longer write as I am far too
weak. This will be my
final letter to you, and if you are
holding it now, I am in the next life.

As you read on, you are not alone, my little prince,
for I am standing right beside you.

                                                                               Pg 240

This is as far as I am willing to take you. The rest of the letter
is far too painful to relive again, and I will not do that to myself.
I apologize. As I have given you this story and bared my soul
for a world to judge, it now appears I have opened a floodgate,
I can no longer close. 

As I continued reading the letter, I found it to be five pages of the most
heart wrenching words my mind could ever begin to fully grasp. This
letter revealed all her hopes, aspirations, and dreams that washed away.
How much she wanted to live and continue revolving her life around
me until I was old enough to accept the responsibility of having children.

How she longed for the day she could travel abroad
see the world with the man she loved and our children.

What I came to realize was that the love she had for me
would far outweigh any doubt that might have previously
existed, for she spoke of it in depth in her final hours, and
my heart shattered. I wanted so dearly to become a man
that I got lost in her eyes. Till, at last, I became nothing.

Nothing but a pallbearer of mourning in a terrifying

world filled with gut-wrenching despair.

There is one part on the fifth page towards the very
end of the letter
that evokes tears every time I read it.

Take what I've given you, my darling, and give
it in time to someone new. Make her your world.

The world I can no longer give you.  

There can never be another you, my sweet love.
I pray for an end that doesn't come, and I weep,
unimpressed by what the years have shown me.

Looking back on all the wonderful times we spent together,
I can truly say I love you more now than ever. If only I could
hold you in my arms again. Kiss your lips again. Watch you smile.

What a precious and beautiful dream we shared.
Has anyone ever wept in Heaven?
I will when I look into your eyes again.

As I look down at my hands, I notice my skin is changing. The year is
2008, and I am no longer young. I am forty-four years old, and that is
twice the age you were when you were taken from me. Will you even
recognize me when I come home to you, or will I be lost there too?

The letter which tore my heart open; I absorbed into the
very fabric of my being
till I became the pain of losing her.

                                                                               Pg 241

In the last part of the letter, Harmony addresses

I saw something in your eyes that day.
The very first day we kissed, you remember.
The day I wanted to kill you, I was so angry.
Then your eyes filled with tears, and you
told me how much you cared for me.

I was stunned beyond words.

To see you that heartbroken over me
was more than my own heart could bear.
That look in your eyes, I will never forget it.
A woman knows when she is loved, Charlie.

When she is adored.

That is the image I am taking with me
when I leave this world. Before I go,
I will give you a sign that I am okay.
Then you must promise to move on
and not dwell in my shadow, 
for I will not be in it.

Do you know that as I got to that part of the letter,
I felt an icy cold mist surround me as if something
was trying to embrace me?

It went through my clothes and touched my skin like a moist towelette.

Then as subtle as a goodnight kiss, my lover departed forever.

A bond so precious her loving wraith could not forget.

Harmony, I cried out, “I can't hold you anymore.

Then I passed out.

From time to time, I can almost feel myself burning inside.
A gnawing pain that refuses to let up, like a painful addiction
that only hides, it will not go away. If only I could stop thinking
about you, sweetheart. To put this whole thing to rest, so I can
continue living. Maybe it's not too late for me to start a family.
Who am I kidding? I'm hooked on you, baby. 

If I have to wait a lifetime for the pain to subside, then so be it.

Yet there are times when I am happy, for I am loving you again.
In a place where remorse is nonexistent, and the innocent virtues
that once captured my heart are alive in your smile.

Traveling to distant places, I make you laugh as I have
always made you laugh, only this time, I do it as a man,
but you can still see the boy in me.

Then we arrive at our house, which is noticeably different in
every dream. Nonetheless, it is beautiful because you decorate
it so well. Then I open my eyes to find it was all a deceitful lie.

We never made Jasmine and Ornelo either, I guess, or is this
the nightmare and the other side real? I'm not sure anymore.

                          It doesn't really matter anyway, for I am almost home.

I often wonder how our children would have looked. Part me and
part Harmony, they would have been remarkable kids. We would
have given them the world, and in return, I am sure they would have
given us consolation, but some things are just not meant to be.

They are the forbidden fruit of our sorrow.

If I should never have another enjoyable day.

See another beautiful smile.
Touch another wonderful face.
If I should never hold another gentle hand,
then I can genuinely say with a whole heart
you were worth it, my darling.

What's worse than growing old, than growing old without her?
This I ask myself from time to time, but I can honestly think of
nothing worse than the fate I've been predestined to share
with those kind enough to listen. . . Thank you.

In life, I learned more than I should have about love,
but I just wasn't
ready. Time holds no place for me now.

What I have come to understand from life is rather simple, and that is
o be a man before you can be a boy will ultimately destroy your soul.

Yet sometimes, I wonder if I should take Harmony’s advice
and find another compassionate gem to adore and treasure,
but sadly, I find I’ve grown old.

And in a way only a writer can express, shall I force myself
to watch with tear-stained eyes, my own hopes and dreams
being pulled back into the sea with the morning tide. . .

It won’t be long now, my love.

In all truth, what we had was simply too beautiful for this world.
t had to be saved for the next. Where the wedding bells will toll,
and no longer shall there be any
racial injustice, because we will
be pure of heart.
At last, I will be found worthy to walk Harmony
hand in hand down
the misty lane for all eternity while our
ancestors smile upon us and God radiates his heavenly love
from a magnificently painted white ceiling known as infinity.

Through the terror, the madness, and the outpouring of tears,
I never
stopped loving God.

I thought it was
God who stopped loving me.

The most ironic part of it all
is that once I was terrified of death. . .

Now I'm terrified of life.

                                                                               Pg 242




                                                          This review was posted on May/20/23




                                            This review was posted on Jun/24/23
                                                               alits29's review




                                                             This review was posted on Aug/21/23 (Morning)
                                                                                 Reviewed by rupalrao




                                                               This review was posted on Aug/27/23
                                                                         Reviewed by labia_1903





                                                         This review was posted on Oct/12/23
                                                                     Reviewed by pazkou





                                                             This review was posted on Dec/23/23
                                                                        Reviewed by hinaspatel



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                                                                     Reviewed by sampriktaada813


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                                                            This review was posted on Mar/29/24
                                                                          Tayyaba17's review
                                            The Embryo Man: Chapter 32.9 - The Embryo Man
                                                                 Reader's Report by Tayyaba





                                                            This review was posted on Apr/24/23
                                                              Reviewed by mariya



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