and so she fell
Summary: The Anaheim Mighty Ducks plane crashes. Nobody survives. Written for Bernie's Hate Fic Challenge.
AN: Dina Arnott pov. Influenced by the Don McLean song and Kate!fic. Unbetaed, unedited, just finished.
And she fell from the sky.
The televisionís been off for days, and I miss its company. The hum of voices not really there, and sometimes music, and the strange lilt of forced happiness and excitement behind every advertisement.
Nothingís really forced anymore. Itís all too soft, and tender, and everyone is so aware and there--there for you--and accepting: itís okay to cry, itís okay to cry, itís okay, itís okay, itís going to be okay. Itís mostly quiet in between okays and I can feel the tension; I feel it stretching and pulling my skin.
I havenít said anything, yet, because the words feel clumsy and wrong in my mouth. If I can barely form them, how can I say them? I let other people speak for me while I stare at the television and count the days off in my head. I wonder when weíll be able to turn it on again. I wonder when it will be appropriate. I miss my soaps. I miss the characters and their storylines. I miss the comfort of a tv show. I miss routine. I miss comfort.
I miss you.
You were never really around. You had hockey, and that kept you busy when you were at home, and kept you far away when you were on the road. I was a hockey-girlfriend longer than I was a hockey-wife, so I knew.
You had fan appearances and charity events, and you had your hobbies--eclectic and bizarre, mostly like you. And you had several girls on the side. I knew; everyone knew. Itís okay. It didnít bother me. I knew it was more about the lifestyle than you. And even if it was you, Iíd forgive you anyway.
You were easy to forgive, with that smile and effortless laugh.
You were never around, so itís surprising that youíve created such a large hole with your absence. How did you do it? I think I know, but I want you to tell me. Mostly because then it means you arenít really gone, the hole isnít quite so big, and maybe the world can go back to normal.
It canít though, and I hate you. I hate that you transformed my life into this. I hate that youíre gone. I hate what youíve done to my husband; I hate that heís retreated inside himself and all the okays in the world wonít make anything okay. I hate that Iím not you. That I can never be you for him. Not that I would want to be anyway. Because I hate you.
I hate you, Petr Sykora.
White clouds painted on a blue sky, and a lone streak of gray. And so she fell.
I hate you.
I hate you while I brush my teeth, and Iíll hate you afterwards, and still, and forever. Minty freshness that stings, and makes my eyes water, and I want to spit you out and watch you slide down the drain in concentric circles. I want to be rid of you.
I want to be rid of this ache; sometimes it burns deep within my chest, and sometimes itís a cold chill that bends my bones until they moan, or scream, or maybe thatís me. Screaming, only in the confines of my mind, because the house is quiet and the television hasnít been on in days and I miss my soaps. I miss their tidy resolutions. Their deux ex machinas and how characters come back from the dead.
I didnít sign up for this. Till death do us part, but I didnít mean it. Nobody ever means it. Theyíre just words.
He slides into bed long after I do, and I hate you. I didnít make dinner and he didnít complain, and I know itís your fault.
I can feel myself slipping. His weight draws me to the center of the bed, and we meet by coincidence, because of physics, because the bed is too soft. Itís suffocating: the duvet, and your presence, and if I could, if I had the balls, Iíd kick them both off of me. Thereís the fear, though, that without either Iíd be cold and alone. His body no longer warms me at night, and what if Iíve already lost him because of you? If I stopped hating you, maybe I wouldnít even have you. And without you, who would keep me company in this house? I no longer have my soaps.
The first night I watched him in bed, breathing. Slow deep breaths. He was pacing himself. I fell asleep before he did. The second night he never came to bed. The third I spent staring at the television across the room. On the fourth night, and ever since, I rolled over onto my side. My back to him, and my eyes fixed on the closet door. I hate sleeping on my side. Look what youíve done to me.
I hate you.
A splash of orange, and a bird on fire. One wing aflame, and the other faltering under the weight of her body. And so she fell, tumbling fast.
It might have been nice to have received a telephone call. The graphics on the screen were too garish, too comical, too unreal. The anchorís voice too loud, too sweet, too feminine, too masculine, too everything because it was on every channel, and it was all a little too wrong. So much coverage, so much talk of a little black box, of a little known sport, of little known athletes, of a little cared about team.
I always was a fan of contraction. I would have started with Anaheim too. And not just because I hate you. Though I do. I donít want you to forget that.
Was it quick? Was it painless? I hope you suffered. You have eternal peace now, so I hope you suffered. I want you to have some inkling of what youíve put us all through.
I can feel him shifting behind me, and itís your fault when his hand on my hip surprises me.
His body curves around mine, clings like cellophane, and he breathes, smelling my hair like he used to. Like he used to, but not the same, never the same, and I blame you. His erection pressing into the small of my back and he rolls his hips, moving painstakingly slow as if heís thinking every movement through, trying to remember, trying to recall, synapses not sparking fast enough, and he has to relearn it all.
Itís too warm with both our clothes on, and the duvet, and itís March, and, of course, the air conditioning isnít on.
He grinds and itís painful, and he holds me tight with one arm and all I see is the closet door and the moonlight reflecting off of its paint-slickened surface. I donít want to move; I donít want to break the spell, but find myself breathing harder, speaking, or moaning. Something. Something agreeable or encouraging. Little noises that used to mean something. Arching my back and saying Iím sorry, saying Iím sorry, saying Iím sorry heís gone, saying Iím sorry you loved him, saying Iím sorry you never could admit that and spent the last two years with me, and now youíll have the rest of your life with me because you promised until death do us part.
I hate you. Heís breaking, and he comes in his underwear like a teenager, and look what youíve done to him.
Maybe weíre breaking too. Maybe till death is a general death. I hate you for possibly breaking up my marriage. You selfish bastard. You had him while you were alive, and now that youíre dead, you have to take him too?
I hate you, I hate you, I fucking hate you.
He sighs, exhaling all in one motion and thereís nothing left in his lungs. His chest hitches, and I feel him breathe in before he rolls away. My back is damp and I think about the tv on the other side of the room. I donít know how long I can live like this. Iím desperate for the life I used to lead. Iím desperate for my soaps.
ďI hate this.Ē His voice is loud and stupid. Wrong, and a hybrid of Ontario and Texas. Itís the accent. Itís the way the words break off in his mouth. ďI hate this,Ē he says again.
I run last weekís episode through my mind, anything to push his voice out of my head, anything to remember something normal, or at least something that resembles it.
ďI hate him so much,Ē he says and I begin to cry. Tears sliding in hot tracts, like sweat down my back, and the heat and the duvet is all too much and I push back the sheets with my feet, kicking with all my might.
Itís slow motion, and the sheets billow and fall, like a paper airplane, gliding to the floor. He gasps, or I gasp, or maybe itís just the rush of cool air.
We lay in bed, in the dark, and itís all your fault when I have to search blindly and reach for him. Heís not difficult to find, but he feels smaller in my arms when I wrap them around him. I hate you. I hate you so much, so itís easy to open my mouth and let the words slide out.
ďNo. You loved him.Ē
Itís harder to forgive you now, now that youíre dead and Iím left to pick up the pieces you made when you and your teammates fell from the sky and crashed into us.
But I remember your smile and know someday I will. I remember his smiles, and the two of you goofing off at the beach, and your speech at our wedding. I remember it all.
But for now, and maybe a while longer, I hate you.
And tumbling fast, she fell somewhere on the grass. Landing hard, and awkward, far from home.