Darkness Comes by Larkn

A faint, sickening sweet stench hangs upon the air. The ripeness of the death that had taken place here is still evident. A heavy sorrow fills the room, and I wonder how often Evelyn and Mark have rested on their daughter’s bed and wept since her death.

My heart breaks as I pick up the white jewelry box that bears a painting of an angel on the lid. It vibrates with all the hopes of the girl who filled it with her treasures: the necklace given to Breanna after her confirmation by her mother, the tiny diamond earrings given to her on her sixteenth birthday. Every token seems to resonate with the love that had filled Bree’s life.

But she had also known darkness. She must have. She had taken her father’s pain pills and downed them with her parents’ top shelf vodka. Her mother and father had been celebrating their 20th anniversary at the time with a cruise to Alaska. Being it was summer and Bree hadn’t lined up a summer job, there was no work or school to raise the alarm. She’d been dead for several days been before her parents returned to find her.

I had been asked to write an article on such grief, as suicides and violence were increasing in what used to be the quiet city of Boise, Idaho. When I had spoken to her parents, it had felt a bit like a violation. They were lost – riding the waves of numb shock and sobbing grief. They told me that she had been losing weight recently, that she had been exhausted from lack of sleep. She had been such a positive spirit usually that when she said it was just stress from preparing for college, they had believed her.

Bosses have told me I need to maintain a professional distance from those I write about and work with. They tell me to not get lost in friendship or to become too invested in the people I cover. Reporters must keep sources as just that. They may be right, but I can’t help myself from caring. I can’t keep a cold distance.

These editors don’t feel the synching of my emotions with another person’s as they talk to me. These editors don’t feel the brutal void and loss that is under Bree’s parents’ tears. They don’t feel the joy and beautiful love that Breanna left behind on her most treasured items. I do.

In the bottom of the jewelry box under a panel is the diary her parents had said I could borrow in order to learn about Bree. I set the jewelry box down and head back toward the living room. There her parents sit on the couch, and I realize that even this tattered, worn couch shows their love. They would rather have celebrated their daughter’s life with diamonds, put away money into a college fund, than put those resources toward a new couch.

Damning convention, I hug Evelyn and Mark and thank them for their time. The song of their daughter’s life will be sung.

Read the entire short story here...

(C) Larkn (Featured Writer)

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