• Her voice, perfect in its simplicity was all I needed. With that voice, I was given a sense of security, of belonging. A sense of love. The sweet peals of her melodies swept over me in waves, drowning me in their intrinsic meaning. Each word was like a song; and each song sang stories to me, stories that I can still recall today, at my deathbed. They were beautiful stories, of passion and lust, of happiness and kindness.
    But the most striking stories, the ones that melted my core, were the ones that spoke of sadness. Her loss, her regrets, every one seemed to ring in the very depths of my soul. These were stories of lost years, times taken from her by circumstances she couldn’t help. It led to the loss of everything she loved about herself, and humbled her to a point incomprehensible to many people, including me. She learned to appreciate things in life, to take nothing for granted. For her this was a blessing, and a curse.
    As I observe my surroundings, I see fragments of the not-so-distant past. Pieces of her, left behind to survive the ravages to time. Even those not directly reminiscent of her gave me recollections. Even the glint of gold from my lamp sent tremors through my body. My promise… what happened to my promise? The one I kept to myself, the one I tried to keep, but couldn’t. It’s gone forever, gone with her, because of my mistakes, my hatred.
    Now it’s too late… I told myself I wouldn’t remember, but I slip away…
    Her first smile. As I reach my arms around her that fateful Christmas morning, I close the clasp of a 14-karot gold necklace I had brought for her, securing it around her neck. This necklace, it wasn’t simply just a necklace I had chanced upon while shopping. No, when I was younger, much younger, I had been getting over my latest heartbreak. I went for a walk around my mall, and there it was.
    The most perfect necklace in the world. It was so simple, with delicately wrought links. But each link shined on its own accord, like it was alive and its life force shimmered vibrantly. I stood stunned. This I had to buy. It did not matter that I was only 12, and couldn’t find the money. The saleswoman didn’t want to set it aside for me. Thankfully I managed to convince her. The rest of the summer I worked the hardest I had ever. No matter that it wasn’t for anybody, no matter that I was wasting my efforts. With each shovelful of dirt, and each wheel barrowful of stones, I grew up. Slowly and surely, I became a man.
    At the end of the summer I held the necklace in the box and stared at it. Three months, and more money than I had ever held in my hand lay before me on a small square of cloth. Right then and there I told myself that this necklace, that I had worked so hard for, would go to only the one I thought I could love forever. And she would love me. So I gave it to my love for Christmas.
    As she looked down upon that necklace, her eyes widened. She looked up at me, and she smiled. This wasn’t just a normal smile, however, this was a smile that radiated happiness that I had never seen from her. And, as I told her the story of how I came to own this necklace, and the promises it carried, she grew all the happier. At that moment, I promised myself that every day I spent with her, I would make her that happy, that I would bring that smile to her face. Unfortunately I could not keep that promise, and the necklace just rotted away like her memories, only there to serve her as a reminder of what I had done, and what had been done to me.

    I snapped out of my reverie, furious with myself for remembering my pain again. I’m here because I learned from my mistakes and moved on… why do I still dwell on past wrongs?
    It’s because I cannot forget them. No matter my intention, what happened happened, and we are all scarred because of it. What we do in the name of love, is also done in the name of other things, not all of them good.