#210 Blur And Fade

by Karen Kimball

There were shots, I remember that, but the rest is lost to piercing pain and the haze of confusion.

I am slumped over, cheek pressed to the wet-streaked table and the world gone sideways. I hear screams and sirens over the roar inside my head, everything too strange—too loud—as I struggle just to pull air inside my lungs.

I’ve loved this restaurant since college. What happened to it? Tonight was red-flower something (but what? The words won’t come, something important). Now it’s ruined. The owners should apologize for the blood and noise and mess.

I think I hear my name . . .

The window across the table is cracked in a kaleidoscope of bright colors and feathered edges, a beautiful dream half-seen from far away. I want to touch it but I cannot move. All I can do is look and try to figure out what it means.

Restaurant, flowers . . . anniversary. David and I came here to—

Oh God, where is David?

I can’t hear him, and all I can see is what’s right in front of me. What if he—if I—if this—

It isn’t supposed to end this way, it’s only been two years.

The colors blur and fade (though I’m chasing them as hard as I can). I try to hang on, fight the numbness taking over me, but I just . . . I can’t . . .

Please, God, please help me.

The darkness is coming.

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