“Just ask the lonely; they know the hurt and pain of losing a love you can never regain.”
Onyx lay against tear stained pillows, stripped of all that made her. Heart, soul, pride, and self-worth; invested in a man hellbent on breaking her down to a shell of her former self.
He had succeeded. Left her in shattered pieces with a battered spirit and dark thoughts.
As the sun set, darkness overtook her bedroom. Warmth faded. She felt herself drowning in the thoughts of what was and what should still be. Gripping bits of her sheets within her hands, she wondered what she’d done so wrong to deserve the pain that ripped through her chest, threatening to take her last breath. And if she could, she would let it.
Each time she closed her eyes to sleep, she saw him. Images of them, the happy times they’d shared. The promises he’d made, the things she’d sacrificed. Where they’d gone wrong, she struggled to figure out. Onyx couldn’t call to mind any signs or red flags, couldn’t explain where things had soured or gone awry.
For certain, she was sure, it was all her fault. And her punishment was to spend her life with regret, with uncertainty of what she’d done to make the man she loved more than life itself give up on loving her.
Entering the bedroom with caution, her weary uncle flipped the switch that provided a light to brighten the room. Playing lowly, he could hear Oletta Adams, an artist he wasn’t particularly in favor of. The great love ballad echoed through the air of heartbreak flowing throughout the cold room. Immediately, his attention shifted to the right side of the room, a near barren bed holding nothing more than a body and spirit wilting away like a dying rose. His heart stopped at the sight of his niece curled into a ball of emotions and despair. This was not the young woman he’d raised. This was not the beautiful soul he’d nurtured.
It took all he had not to leave her alone, to go and find the monster that destroyed her, to take the revenge she’d avoid into his own hands. To break bones the way her heart had been broken.
Instead, he took slow steps and eased his way into the spot beside her. Wearing nothing but her bra and a pair of boy shorts, he covered her with the lone blanket on her bed before moving to dry the streams of tears that spilled from her brown eyes. “No man or woman is worth shedding tears over. Nor is any man or woman worth wasting away over. You’ve still got so much of your life to live, to experience, to go through things that bring you joy and sadness. This is not the end of your world just because that man was too foolish to realize what he had in you.”
But it felt like it. That man was all she knew, all she had. And now he was gone, and with him went all the hopes and dreams she held for a happy life. He was giving all she’d wanted to another woman. The present, and the future, seemed so bleak in comparison to just days before when it seemed life had given her the best it had to offer. What would she do now, alone and lonely? “I loved him so much. I don’t understand what I did wrong, Uncle Heston.”
Heston’s anger only grew at the way her voice cracked, at how wounded she sounded with each word she forced out. She rambled on about her ‘mistakes’, all she felt she’d done to drive a ‘good’ man away. As more tears spilled, Heston took a deep breath and began to speak in a tone that dripped of love and understanding as he made a fresh attempt to console her. “You were simply more than he was ready for. Don’t think them all the same, there’s one who will want and will be ready to handle all you have to offer. My sweet baby, you were not made to crumble in hands far too rough to caress and treasure diamonds.”
Onyx groaned, turning over only to smother her face within her pillows. Heston rubbed her back, doing the only thing he knew brought her some sense of happiness. Singing softly, he found himself drifting through his memory of songs as one of their shared favorites came to mind.
“Just think of a world without sunlight; people stumbling around in the dark. Always hearing the melody but never seeing the light.” When she didn’t respond, her sobs drowning out the richness of his voice, Heston sighed. “I love you, and I’m here whenever you’re ready.”
Hesitantly, Heston left her side. Exiting her room, he left a small crack in her door so that he could hear her from across the hall, praying silently that all would be well soon. He truly hated to see her this way, but for the first time he was at a loss of how to help and what to do. The moment was too close to that of all he’d experienced with her mother. His only hope was that Onyx, too, wouldn’t go off the deep end over a man that meant no good in the first place. She had to know she deserved more. He hoped she knew that.