The flat pitch of the disconnected call filled Chris Zada’s ear as he clutched the handset to his shoulder. The news caused his head to swirl like a whirlpool threatening to take everything down. It sucked out all feeling from him, leaving a gaping void. Numb, he dropped the handset in its cradle on the end table. He sat for a time. He didn’t know how long. He just sat. And sat. Paralyzed by emptiness.
Anger snuck in like a thief, catching him by surprise. It maddened him. The stillness. The doom of a headsman preparing to deliver the fatal strike with his axe. He fell to the floor screaming out, pounding the beige carpet with the side of his fist like a jackhammer to keep the silence at bay.
Finished with his aggression, he threw himself back against the sofa and cried out, “Why, God? Why do I have to die? What did I do to deserve this?”
He ran his hands through his short chestnut hair, setting his elbows to his knees, tempted to pull out fistfuls of his locks as despair kicked out anger and took residence. Why now? Why not after the wedding next week? How would he tell Myr? His family?
“Why me? I’m only twenty-four.”
He was supposed to grow old with Myr and four kids. It wasn’t fair. “Do you hear me?” he shouted into the empty space. “IT’S NOT FAIR!”
His last word echoed through the apartment, bouncing off the walls. His coffee mug vibrated from the energy his voice carried. Tears glistened in his green-gold eyes and his chest drooped from the heaviness invading his heart. The quiet took over while his body succumbed to the heartache.
©Debi Smith, 2014