Saturday, August 13, 2005

What Right

By J.D.

The scent of her perfume lingered and with it Luka felt the bile rise...what had he done, worse yet, what was he becoming?  As he leaned against the door it dawned on him...he hadn't even asked her name.  Clamping a hand over his mouth he hurried to the bathroom, then dropped to his knees just in time to grab the sides of the bowl.  If only he could rid himself of the guilt as easily as he emptied his stomach of everything else.

It was all falling apart, but maybe that was the point.  What right did he have to be happy?  What right did he have to be safe and secure?  As his stomach voided of what little it had held the dry heaves began and he found himself almost laying over the bowl as they threatened to tear his insides apart.

Ten years had passed since his world had shattered the first time...ten years since everything that had meant anything to him had been ripped away.  What right did he have to happiness?  What right did he have to think he deserved to have anyone in his life that cared about him?  Maybe tonight was his reality...maybe all he deserved was someone who would pretend to care for him if he paid her enough money.  He tightened his hold on the bowl so that his knuckles whitened as he held on to it.

After several more minutes he forced himself to his feet, then flushed away the evidence of his failure.  All those years he'd pretended he was moving on...pretended he had overcome the loss of Danijela and the children.  All the years he had thought that distancing himself from the daily realities of his past would make him forget.  All of it was a lie.  He turned on the faucet only to lean over the sink as it filled.

What right did he had to think he deserved a life when they were denied theirs?  If only he wasn't such a coward.  If only he had the strength to end his life the way theirs had been ended.  If only he had the courage to put the misery that had become his life to rest forever.  No!  He had to remind himself that suicide wasn't even an escape he was allowed.  If he was to ever hope to rejoin Danijela and the children his death could not come by his own hand.  He splashed water on his face in an attempt to quell the rising queasiness.

Maybe this was his punishment.  Ten years he had worked to rebuild a life, to recreate himself and make him other thenhusband to Danijela and father to Jasna and Marko.  Ten years he had worked to find a way to share their memories with thoughts of a future without them in it, only to come to the realization that he didn't deserve one that involved any form of happiness.  Carol...Abby...his position...he didn't deserve any of it.

He stood up and looked at the stranger in the mirror with the realization, when the words came they came with the quiet tone of acceptance.  "How much more do I have to give up before you are satisfied?"

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