. . . . .
It was a freak accident; a horrible, horrible tragedy that literally turned my life upside-down. Three-hundred sixty-four days ago, my entire world shattered.
Nothing held meaning anymore. Food lost its taste, vibrant colors faded to gray, music turned to white noise. My house -once my sanctuary, my center- had turned into a mausoleum, memories etched into every corner.
I thought my heart was broken before, when Bill confessed to me that I was just a project for the queen. I scoffed at my naivete. That was nothing, a school-girl crush. I now knew what a broken heart truly was, and I wouldn't wish this sort of pain upon my worst enemy. It felt as if there was a ragged hole in my chest, a crushing pain that would never cease. Sometimes I wouldn't be able to catch my breath, hyperventilating until I passed out from the panic.
Barely able to sleep, the images imprinted in my skull ravaged me every night. More than once, I woke up to the sound of my own screams. Lately, the attacks had been getting worse and I knew it was because of the date. Tomorrow was the anniversary of both the best and the worst day of my life.
Nearly ten years had passed since I first saw my husband. I'll never forget walking into that bar for the first time, seeing him sitting in a throne while people worshipped at his feet. He was a gorgeous, dangerous, charismatic vampire back then, even when he still scared the crap out of me. Now he was gorgeous, dangerous, charismatic... and my husband. Five years ago we were married in Las Vegas. We had a huge ceremony in Louisiana six months later and life had never been better.
Tonight, on our fifth anniversary, I was going to give Eric the greatest gift I had to offer him. I was going to be turned into a vampire. Once I had made my decision, all the stress left me and a calm resolve took its place. One lifetime wasn't enough to spend with your soulmate, and lucky for me, my mate had the ability to give me more than one.
As we drove back to our house from dinner, I laid the seat back almost flat and watched him in profile. His hands were glued to the wheel as we flew down the highway, eager to get home so we could make love one last time before he buried me. Pulling onto our exit, the car slowed to a stop at a red light. Eric turned to me and kissed the back of my hand.
"I love you, Sookie. Eternity is waiting for us." I smiled and raised up to kiss him, trying to express all the love in my heart without words that couldn't do justice. I settled back into the reclined seat as we started to move, and then the world stopped turning.
An SUV tried to rush through the light and plowed into the driver's side of the Corvette. Somehow the hood detached and sliced through the top of the 'Vette like a hot knife through butter. When the grinding and screeching ceased, I was mostly unharmed, contorted inside the ruined car. I sat up and looked around for my husband, easily the worst moment of my life. Half of him was still sitting in the driver's seat. His head and shoulders were on the ground about twenty feet away. I vaulted out of the car, ignoring my body's protests and fell to my knees beside his face. Even though it was already starting to flake away, I cradled what was left of him to my chest and screamed.
I didn't notice when the ambulance came. I didn't notice when they tried to examine me. I didn't notice anything until someone tried to pry the remains of my soulmate from my desperate grasp. Several strong pairs of hands restrained me as I fought to hold on. A pinch in the crook of my elbow was immediately followed by my entire body going limp. The last thing I saw before fading to black was Claudine, bawling her eyes out.
I woke up three days later. Inconsolable, I needed someone to force me to live. I couldn't move, eat, sleep, speak... nothing. Besides crying and sobbing his name, I didn't say a word for almost a month. Even then I still didn't leave the house, wearing his clothes and wallowing in my depression.
Six months later I was able to function on my own again. In Eric's will (vampires made wills?) Fangtasia was given to Pam, along with a hefty chunk of money. Everything else was mine; houses, businesses, bank accounts I didn't know existed... all of it. Pam and I spent a lot of time together. I never set foot in Fangtasia, but she came to me almost every day. We watched movies and went shopping. I had a tendency to burst into random fits of tears, but I was learning to control it, at least in public.
Per Dr. Ludwig, I was placed on a strict regimen of sleeping, anti-depression and anti-anxiety pills, plus several vitamins to make up for my lack of nutrition. I hated taking medicine, but I forced myself to swallow it daily. Well, today was another day, so I set my alarm and downed my knockout pill. I curled up in one of Eric's t-shirts and cried myself to sleep, just like every other night.
When I woke up, it was the anniversary of the beginning and the end of my life. I went to a couple appointments and came home to sulk. I was by myself, having ordered everyone I knew to leave me alone today. The phone was off the hook and I would refuse to answer the door if anyone knocked. I locked all the windows and doors, pulling all the blinds and curtains shut, double checking that not a single ray of light made it into the house. A bottle of wine in one hand, a photo album in the other, I sat on our bed and relived the best years of my life.
Every time he saved me, every kiss, every touch, every fangy smile was revisited. Our wedding pictures, from both ceremonies. The honeymoon in Venice. The log cabin in Canada. The time we dressed up as a cop and inmate for Halloween, and after the party when I had to 'pay for my crimes'. Pages and pages of memories assaulted me, each one more intense than the last. The bottle of wine was nearly empty by the last photo, taken the day before the accident. A simple Polaroid Pam had taken in the office at Fangtasia. She barged in on us making out and took the picture before we knew she was there.
Tears had been silently streaming down my face the whole night, but this picture broke the floodgates. I traced his face with my fingertip, wishing that I had died along with him. After the love that we shared, how could I possibly move on with my life? We were bonded, body and soul. Even before we shared blood, we had been drawn towards each other. Was it fate? I don't know if it was or not, but my only regret was not giving into him earlier. He truly was my other half, something I didn't realize I was missing until he filled the spot.
I shook the wine bottle and heard some liquid sloshing in the bottom, probably enough for a couple swallows. Thankful for the foresight to visit the lawyer today, I popped the top on my bottle of sleeping pills. I had just refilled the prescription last week, so there were more than enough to do the job. I poured the contents into my mouth, chasing the bitter pills with the rest of the wine.
I curled into a ball under the sheets, cradling the photo album to my chest. I would have given you my life then, and nothing has changed. I give my life to you now, my love. I will be with you soon. I could almost feel his cool fingers stroking my cheek as darkness took me.