There was the flash of a child's smile. A single candle flickering madly atop a snow-white cake. A flurry of golden leaves sent flying into the air by small bare feet. The tiny fingers of an infant held gently in the palm of a woman. The woman looked up, her silver eyes full of warmth and love, meeting his gaze. A fragile smile crossed her lips. The sun danced with the blonde strands of her hair and autumn went on peacefully behind her. Then there was darkness, pitch-black.
Eyes open, he found himself staring up at the ceiling fan. He watched the blades turn slowly, steadily eating away at his sanity, making him aware of his boredom. Blinking away the traces of his waking dream, he stretched slowly on the couch and turned to face the window. Across from him, staring wistfully out the window was his love. Dead-eyed and just as bored as him, she gave no sign of acknowledging him. He could feel a sensation of bitterness and sour hatred building up within him. It took every bit of his strength to resist his face contorting into a virulent grimace. Immediately denying the anger, he felt emptiness inside of him and he curled up tighter on the couch. He had to say something, anything, but no words came to mind so he stared absentmindedly down at the floor.
"Why?" the sound resonated within the lonely walls of the house and seemed to surprise them both.
What he thought had been a whisper in his head was a dangerous word he had uttered out into the hostile, open air. Fearfully, he looked at the woman and awaited her reaction. There was little to nothing to read in those wide, astonished eyes for a while but there quickly came a flash flood of anger. And he could feel himself responding likewise, his lip curling up and his brow heavy with rage.
He repeated the question, less apologetically this time, "Why?"
She couldn't answer him, but her lip tightened and her muscles tensed, her eyes locked on his, cold and deadly.
He could feel the tears welling up within his soul, but he pushed them down and leaped off of the couch, pointing an accusing finger at his partner.
"We were supposed to protect her!" he snarled.
His wife jumped up defensively and clenched her fist, still unable to respond but no apology written in her eyes.
"We gave her a promise and you took that away!"
Trembling, nails digging into her palms, his wife averted her gaze and stared indignantly at the ground.
"So, dammit, tell me why!"
"I was scared." finally came the simple reply.
Shocked to her a response, he stared at her, stupefied.
"I was scared, okay?" she held herself in trembling arms, biting her lip, avoiding his burning gaze.
"I was here for you." his voice broke and was barely above a whisper. "What more did you want from me?"
She looked up at him, thrown off by the hurt she heard in his words.
"We spent years planning and this is what you decide to do? It was our job to bring her into the world!"
There was only silence to greet him.
He gritted his teeth and turned away from her. His feet were leading him to the door and he didn't resist. His hands on the knob, he felt a heavy weight dragging at his arm and tears falling on his bare hands.
Sandy hair in a mess, pale gray eyes wild and chaotic, she held his hand firmly in her grip.
He snatched his arm away from her, narrowing his eyes at her.
"I don't know who you are anymore."
He opened the door and left, nothing hindered him any further and despite the pain in his chest, he felt a sigh of relief deep within him.